Mohamed Salah has underperformed for Liverpool so far this season and “needs a kick” to improve his performances, according to former midfielder Danny Murphy.
The Reds are suffering a poor start to the season after struggling by an unprecedented quadruple and winning just two of their first seven games until the end of last season in May.
They were humiliated 4-1 by Napoli in the opening game of the UEFA Champions League group stage last week, conceding a series of pathetic goals with clear deficiencies in all areas of the pitch.
For his part, Salah has scored twice so far, away in a draw at Fulham and a defeat at Manchester United when those around him played particularly poorly.
But the Egyptian struggles to influence games, staying very wide on the touchline far more often than in the past in what appears to be a bizarre tactical decision by manager Jurgen Klopp.
However, Murphy insists Salah himself is to blame for his indifferent portrayals and has accused the player of being complacent.
“We have to be careful not to overdo it, but I feel like some of the players are complacent,” he told talkSPORT. “They have fallen into what some managers call a ‘comfort zone’.”
“Salah is one, Salah needs a kick,” he added. “It has nothing to do with the contract he signed, but sometimes you need it. When you’ve scored that many goals and you’re doing what he’s done, sometimes all you have to do is say to the top, “Come on.”
Murphy also believes a Liverpool staffer should be prepared to flog a player in front of his team-mates to elicit some sort of reaction.
“If it means digging someone up in front of the other boys [so be it], added Murphy. “I’ve seen it before, the best midfielder Liverpool have ever had in history [Steven Gerrard]. I remember seeing him at half-time in a Champions League game when he was told to take a shower. Nobody saw this coming!’
After Saturday’s home game against Wolves was postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Liverpool’s Champions League season resumes on Tuesday night at Anfield against Ajax.
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