Former Liverpool winger John Barnes believes the club can still win the Premier League and called for calm amid growing criticism of Jurgen Klopp’s approach.
Four draws in the last six league matches have handed the initiative to Manchester City, with Klopp’s midfield coming in for most of the scrutiny after failing to create scoring chances.
Since Boxing Day midfield has accounted for just one of the 22 goals Liverpool have scored in the league – Georginio Wijnaldum’s strike in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth a month ago.
It is why so many Liverpool fans are desperate for the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who played his first 45 minutes of competitive action for the under-23s at Derby on Friday.
However, Barnes – who was part of the sides that won Liverpool’s last two league titles, in 1988 and 1990 – insists critics should be looking at the bigger picture.
“With regards to the lack of creativity and negative perception of Liverpool – we are one point off the top so therefore much better than we were last year when we weren’t being criticised,” he told Press Association Sport at a Show Racism the Red Card event at Anfield.
“People have to keep calm. We can still win the league. Maybe we are defending better, which is why we are not being more creative.
“We were more creative last year, but we were conceding more goals.
“The balance is important, the balance is right. If we stay calm and stay together we still have a chance.”