Liverpool: Who is to blame?

Image by Matthew Burt
Image by Matthew Burt /

It's come to this.

Things are now so bad at Liverpool that we couldn't just do a simple 'Premier League crisis club of the week' article to sum it all up.

Nope, we had to go all in.

It's the 30 main things for 'Who is to Blame?' time:

30. Grizz Khan

90min's resident Liverpool fan and hat wearer. We can never blame him, he's too great a guy.

Blame rating: -10/10

29. Boston Red Sox

Coming In Hot Boston Red Sox GIF by MLB - Find & Share on GIPHY

According to Sportrac, the Boston Red Sox's payroll in 2022 was $56.7m more than Liverpool's payroll. That's money that should be spent on Liverpool!!!!!! Right? That's how these things work.

Blame rating: 0/10

28. Snickers ad

Conspiracy theory: Jurgen Klopp has stopped eating Snickers and it's negatively effect his capacity to manage a football team.

Blame rating: 1/10 or maybe 10/10?

27. Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos
Ramos enjoyed his dose of Salah wrestling / Sylvain Lefevre/GettyImages

The man who tried to kill Mohamed Salah. Always to blame in some way.

Blame rating: 1.4/10

26. Harry Kane

Harry Kane
Kane isn't a Liverpool favourite / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Liverpool fans really, really don't like Harry Kane so he'll have to shoulder some of the blame here.

Blame rating: 1.8/10

25. The Tik Tok guy who sings the Darwin Nunez songs

You know the one.

You know why.

Someone please buy this man a metronome.

Blame rating: 2/10

24. Jude Bellingham and every midfielder in the world that's been linked with Liverpool

Jude Bellingham
Is Jude to blame? Maybe / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

They all should have handed in transfer requests and forced moves to Liverpool. Obviously.

Blame rating: 2.1/10

23. Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is enjoying life at United / Graham Denholm/GettyImages

He's to blame for Manchester United being good again. Which is obviously a bad thing for Liverpool fans.

Blame rating: 2.5/10

22. Scott Parker

Club Brugge KV v RSC Anderlecht - Jupiler Pro League
Never trust a manager in a gilet / Isosport/MB Media/GettyImages

This is how bad a manager Scott Parker is: his Bournemouth team lost 9-0 to the 2022/23 Liverpool team.

That result papered over a lot of cracks for the Reds.

Blame rating: 3/10

21. Real Madrid

Real Madrid have made a habit of winning / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Liverpool have lost two UEFA Champions League finals to Real Madrid.

Not fun.

Blame rating: 3.2/10

20. Martin Tyler not caring when Liverpool score

Sky television commentator Martin Tyler in the commentary box
Martin Tyler's enthusiasm appears to be waning / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Martin Tyler not celebrating Liverpool goals and giving his all on commentary directly leads to fans being annoyed and not being able to enjoy goals which then leads to a bad atmosphere around the club which brings down the players because they feed off the atmosphere generated by the fans at Anfield.

That was a long-winded stretch. And we never really got there with it either.

Blame rating: 3.9/10

19. Wolves admin

Very funny, and very embarrassing for Liverpool.

Blame rating: 4/10

18. Harvey Elliott not being a midfielder

Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott looks more suited further forwards / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

Jurgen Klopp tried to utilise Elliott as a right centre-mid early in the season but it just didn't quite click. He much more suited to a role further up the park.

Blame rating: 4.3/10

17. Thiago Alcantara's injury record

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago is usually injured / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

A wonderful player when fit, but Liverpool should've known that he wasn't a player they could fully rely on due to his myriad of injury issues.

Blame rating: 4.5/10

16. Joel Matip going full Schalke 04

Joel Matip
Joel Matip has relapsed into old bad habits / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

There's a lot of factors in why Liverpool haven't been great this season, but calling a spade a spade: a key one is players like Joel Matip underperforming.

His performance against Wolves was abysmal.

Truly abysmal.

Blame rating: 4.9/10

15. Pep Lijnders' book

Pep Lijnders
Pep Lijnders / ANP/GettyImages

Pep had to come out and say: "I’m proud that there’s a book that gives inside information – not as much as people say, that would harm [us], there’s no relationship with that."

You probably shouldn't have to even say that.

Blame rating: 5/10

14. Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton have Liverpool's number / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Three games against Brighton this season = two defeats and one draw.

Blame rating: 5.3/10

13. Jordan Henderson

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Hendo hasn't been great recently / MB Media/GettyImages

Hendo enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance at the World Cup, putting in all-action performances for England on their way to the latter stages of the competition.

That form has explicitly not seeped over into his club performances, where he's looked laboured on and off the ball for quite a while.

Blame rating: 5.8/10

12. James Milner

James Milner
James Milner is still chugging on / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

A great player on his day, but his day was a long time ago. It's time to move on from James Milner.

Blame rating: 5.9/10

11. Darwin Nunez

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Hit and miss so far for Big Darw / MB Media/GettyImages

There's a player in there somewhere. There's no doubt about that.

Is that player good enough to be Liverpool's main man moving forward? There are some doubts about that.

Blame rating: 6/10

10. Cody Gakpo not being a midfielder

Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo is yet to score / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Liverpool spent big on Cody Gakpo instead of a midfielder during the January transfer window...for some unknown reason.

Blame rating: 6.3/10

9. Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp
Klopp's made some odd tactical decisions of late / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

He is one of the greatest managers of all time, but we can't pretend that every decision he's made during the 2022/23 season has been spot on.

The insistence on playing the same clearly tired and clearly old midfield has proven to be one of the reasons for Liverpool's poor form of late. The Wolves game proved that.

He's a great, no doubt, but that doesn't mean he can't be criticised for his recent tactical failings.

Blame rating: 6.6/10

8. Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane
Mane is still banging them in / Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

In hindsight, Liverpool probably should've gave one of their best players ever a new contract.

They miss him.

Blame rating: 7/10

7. Trent Alexander-Arnold refusing to learn how to defend

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold only seems to have one mode / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

One of the best crossers of the ball in Premier League history, yes. However, going the other way TAA has always left a lot to be desired and, despite that being the case, has never really shown signs of improvement defensively.

His lapses at the back have cost the Reds too many goals to count.

Blame rating: 7.2/10

6. Fenway Sports Group

John Henry
John Henry's FSG aren't too popular / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

On the top of most Liverpool fan's 'who is to blame?' rankings are Fenway Sports Group. One quick scan of Twitter trending before, during, and after, every Liverpool game will tell you as much.

Outside looking in, it's hard to really argue with the investment they've provided over the years. The issue has been, in the last few windows, who that money has been spent on...

Blame rating: 7.5/10

5. Mohamed Salah's new contract

Mohamed Salah
Prolific no more / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Liverpool had to give Mohamed Salah a new contract. They absolutely had to. But, after signing, to warrant such a lucrative contract Salah also had to continue to perform at the highest level.

To date, he hasn't. That's an issue.

Blame rating: 7.6/10

4. Manchester City

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92 points during the 2021/22 season? 2nd place.

97 points during the 2018/19 season? Yep, 2nd place again.

Man City have prevented Liverpool from wholly dominated the Premier League in the last five plus years, restricting them to just one league title with Klopp. And to top it all off, they did it by breaking 100 FFP rules (allegedly) and by playing the most boring style of football known to man.

Blame rating: 8/10

3. Injuries in general

James Milner
Liverpool have been dealt a rough injury hand / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

It's been one of those seasons at Anfield.

To date, 14 first-team players have missed games through injury this season.

How many games have those 14 players missed combined you ask? 109.

That's a lot.

Blame rating: 9/10

2. The passing of time

Jordan Henderson, Virgil Van Dijk
A few players getting on a bit / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Virgil van Dijk: 31.

James Milner: 37.

Roberto Firmino: 31.

Mohamed Salah: 30.

Jordan Henderson: 32.

A lot of the players that made Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool one of the greatest football teams over the last two decades are just on the wrong side of 30 now. It's hard to rely on these players to turn up week in, week out with so many Klopp gegenpressing miles under their belt already.

Blame rating: 9.5/10

1. Recruitment team

Juergen Klopp
What a mess for Jurgen / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Which brings us nicely onto who was making those signings.

Michael Edwards' departure has had a huge impact on the quality of signings the Reds have made in recent windows.

While Edwards was the club's Sporting Director, Liverpool were the best around at identifying what they needed in their starting lineup and going out and getting it.

Since he's left, that's not been the case. While in dire need some extra quality and legs in midfield, Liverpool have gone out and spent big on forwards instead - forwards who have massively underperformed. That's a huge problem.

Blame rating 10/10