'Complacent' Liverpool are in their 'comfort zone', Virgil van Dijk is playing in 'third gear' and Mo Salah 'needs a KICK', claims Danny Murphy - but he insists Jurgen Klopp's side DON'T need a reset despite difficult start to the season
- The Reds have won just two of their opening seven games so far this season
- Murphy singled out Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold
- He said the players need the leave their comfort zones in order to improve
- The 45-year-old did however dismiss suggestions a complete reset is needed
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has branded Liverpool 'complacent' following their poor start to the season.
Murphy, speaking on talkSPORT, said the players look like they are in a 'comfort zone' just months on from chasing a quadruple, before singling out key stars as contributors to Liverpool's poor form.
Danny Murphy has branded Liverpool 'complacent' after their start to the new season
Jurgen Klopp's side have won just two of their opening seven games in all competitions
'We've got to be careful to not go too overboard on this but my feeling is there's an air of complacency among some of the players,' he said.
'They've fallen into what some managers call a 'comfort zone'. Of course they go out with good intentions but when you know you're going to play nearly every game, I think that can cause complacency at times.'
Murphy was particularly critical of Virgil van Dijk, who has been widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world since his move to Liverpool but has struggled this season.
Murphy criticised both Virgil van Dijk (left) and Mohamed Salah (right) for their performances
'When I talk about complacency I aim it at him a lot,' said the former midfielder. 'Trent Alexander-Arnold and some of the other lads are but I think he's guilty of it.
'There's a little bit of lethargy about his play, like he's playing in third gear. He looks like he's playing protecting an injury. I don't think he is but that's the way it looks.'
Trent Alexander-Arnold was also slated
The 45-year-old said Mo Salah 'needs a kick' after falling below standards at the start of the campaign, scoring just two goals in seven outings so far after signing a new bumper contract at Anfield in the summer.
'Salah's another one,' he said. 'He needs a kick. It's nothing to do with the contract he signed but sometimes you need it. When you've scored that many goals and do what he's done sometimes you just need upstairs to say 'come on'.'
Right-back Alexander-Arnold, another player seemingly off the pace this season, was the third player to receive criticism for his performances.
'I think physically he's not doing the same things that he did when he was doing better in terms of his running back and defensive mindset,' Murphy added. 'That's the complacency I'm talking about.
'He just needs a little reminder, a little kick up the backside from the manager as maybe a few of the others do, and I'm sure he's done that this weekend after that Napoli performance.
'The other thing is he's got those other players who are normally so reliable, so when he's playing right-back in a very successful Liverpool team you've got Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate for the majority of last season playing well to cover him and Jordan Henderson covering him when he goes forward.
There have been questions over whether Klopp's side need to completely reset themselves
'I also think that the coaches aren't helping him by not giving him more guidance on choosing his moments to go forward sometimes.'
Murphy did however insist his former side don't need a complete reset, backing manager Jurgen Klopp to turn things around.
He said: 'Does it need a complete reset? No, of course it doesn't.
'This team was two games away from winning the quadruple. The only difference between the squad this season is three months of players who are supposedly past it, which is nonsense, and Sadio Mane's gone.'
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