Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has slammed Roberto Firmino’s “horrible” performance in the Merseyside club’s 2-0 loss to Newcastle United on Sunday.
Liverpool suffered their second successive loss in Newcastle after Martin Skrtel put one in his own net before Georginio Wijnaldum sealed the three points in stoppage time.
Jurgen Klopp’s men looked a completely different side to the one that thrashed Southampton 6-1 in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.
And Aldridge took aim at Firmino after the Brazilian put in a lacklustre performance at St. James’ Park.
“Roberto Firmino is playing as if something is wrong, mentally and physically. He’s been absolutely redundant the last two games after such a great display at Man City,” he wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
“It can’t just be the fact his mate [Philippe] Coutinho has been missing.
“Christian Benteke played badly – he was stood outside the box when two good crosses came in, one from [Alberto] Moreno – but it was Firmino who made him look worse.
“Everything Benteke needed from him was absent in a horrible display.
“He needed him to be the link man but he wasn’t there. Benteke won his flick-ons but he was nowhere near him.
“Firmino was the missing link and things improved when Adam Lallana, who played well, came on. It was like chalk and cheese.
“The Brazilian also pulled out of a challenge that was 55-45 in his favour. Liverpool fans won’t accept that. I’ve been going for 50 years and I know it’s unacceptable.
“If the ball is there to be won you win it. He’s going to have to learn to get stuck in.”