Robbie Fowler and Rio Ferdinand snapped at Liverpool as they suffered an “embarrassing” Champions League defeat by Napoli and accused Trent Alexander-Arnold of a “lack of desire”.
Six-time winners Liverpool started their Champions League campaign with a hugely disappointing 4-1 defeat in Napoli.
Napoli led Serie A 3-0 at half-time and while the Premier League giants improved after the break the damage was already done.
Things could have been worse for Liverpool as Napoli had saved an Alisson penalty in the first half and also hit the post, but this was still Liverpool’s biggest Champions League defeat.
Former Anfield striker Fowler told BT Sport: “I would say you can’t question what that team’s desire has been in recent years but you can tonight.
“We know how good Napoli are and they were brilliant but Liverpool were so poor.
“Joe Gomez will get the whole stick [for his first-half performance] but look at the listlessness of Trent.
“You can’t call him up front but defensively we can pick him apart because he doesn’t show the same desire to come back as to come forward and that’s wrong.
“Liverpool were shocking defensively.”
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand added: “It was an awkward first 45 minutes for Liverpool, particularly defensively.
“What you cannot accept as a manager or as a player is a lack of effort and desire. When people don’t run or don’t feel like coming back.
“Gomez makes the mistake, but you have to come back and help your teammates, and Trent didn’t do that.
“Liverpool were teased, they were embarrassed, they were turned up. This result also came true. They were lackluster and lacked courage, determination and desire.’
Jurgen Klopp’s side need to improve quickly if they want to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, with Ajax and Rangers also in Group A.
The Reds have also struggled domestically this season, winning just two of their first six league games to finish seventh in the Premier League.
A disappointed Andy Robertson said after the Napoli defeat: “We were miles too open. You can’t come to a place like this and not be compact.
“They were miles the better team. We need to get back to basics. It felt like they had an extra man and that’s unlike us.
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