Liverpool’s collapse at Southampton on Sunday did not perturb Anfield legend John Barnes, who labelled the throwing away of a two-goal lead as “symptomatic” of the shock nature of this season’s Premier League.
Goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge had the Reds two goals to the good at St Mary’s Stadium, with Simon Mignolet repelling a Sadio Mane penalty after the break to put Liverpool on track for a fourth consecutive league win.
Mane would have his revenge, however, scoring either side of Graziano Pelle’s curled effort to secure a memorable turnaround.
Liverpool’s run of victories before Sunday’s game was their longest such sequence of the season, with inconsistencies leaving them fighting for a European spot in ninth place.
But Barnes stressed that he expects manager Jurgen Klopp will benefit once he has a full pre-season with his squad.
Speaking as brand ambassador for titanbet.co.uk, Barnes told Perform: “This is symptomatic of the Premier League. Look at Manchester City in the first four games. Look at Arsenal, Tottenham.
“Leicester are the most consistent side, which is unusual. It’s symptomatic of the Premier League, of the inconsistencies of the bigger teams. And secondly, it’s understandable from Liverpool’s point of view because Jurgen Klopp has come in at a time which is not ideal for any manager.
“Of course the manager wants to work with a team pre-season, where you have four to six weeks of implementing your style, your strategy, so the players understand it.
“Coming in 10 games into the season is not ideal because you don’t get time to work with the players in terms of telling them exactly what you want. Because of the inconsistencies of time, you can see times where they do it and times where they don’t do it.”
Klopp has found some consistency in the Europa League, seeing off Manchester United in the last 16 to set up an eye-catching quarter-final clash with his former club Borussia Dortmund.