Roberto Firmino is in question for the first time after several almost perfect seasons at Anfield. And although Jurgen Klopp persistently defends him, reminding him what he did for the club, the england public, after the good releases of Diogo Jota, is putting increasing pressure for the Portuguese to replace Firmino in the starting 11 of Liverpool.
And it's not just the fans, but also some important names. Take Jamie Carragher, a famous Liverpool defender and influential Sky Sports commentator. "Mane, Jota, Salah", Carragher clearly answered in an interview with talkSport when asked who would make him an attacking trio of Reds, because the formation with all four on the field, as we saw in the derby with Manchester City, still did not convince anyone that this option feasible.
"Firmino is not in shape, in fact, I don't think he was last season either, but Liverpool's triumph in the Premier League masked that. "Firmino did not score a goal in the league at home until the last game of the season against Chelsea", reminds Karager.
Jota scored six goals in the last five games, including a hat-trick against Atalanta. And although Firmino's role is not only related to goals… "Liverpool fans are educated enough to know that Firmino's task is not just goals, that shooters play widely, that he creates space, chances, wins the ball and puts pressure on the opponent's defense… But even when we look at the statistics around that pressing, and I watched it for the weekend, it's not what it used to be, ”Carragher said
Carragher on pressure
Of course, he doesn't think Firmino should be erased with an eraser.
"If Jota starts playing, that is not the end for Firmino. You have ups and downs in your career. Someone will get hurt or he will get back in shape. But there is too much pressure on him at the moment." "Everyone just looks at him.
You will report it now, and you will give it today. Rest him. Give him three or four games, then introduce him. If you don't play well, and you get a chance from the bench, you will hardly play badly. You come in, you're fresh, sometimes you have to build self-confidence that way.
" On the other hand, at the moment, Carragher believes, Liverpool has more urgent things to solve. The big problem of Liverpool is that now there are not many scorers in the team and that is why Jota would play for me.
Virgil van Dijk scored goals after the break, and he is gone. The midfield does not score goals. There is no Gerard or Lampard who can move forward and hit. And it doesn’t give you a central striker and then essentially you only have Mane and Salah.
"Add Jota and you have the third option, and that's how you took the pressure off Mane and Salah," Carragher thinks.