Joel Matip thinks struggling Liverpool must go back to their “successful roots” in order to reverse their underwhelming start to the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s men won both domestic cups and finished as Premier League and Champions League runners-up last season, but have made a stuttering start to the 2022-23 campaign.
Liverpool were thrashed 4-1 by Napoli in their opening game in Group A last week, the heaviest defeat by a Premier League side in their first game of a Champions League campaign since Arsenal lost 3-0 to Inter in 2003-04.
They have also drawn three and lost one of their six Premier League games so far, and speaking at a news conference on Monday, Matip revealed the players have made it clear to one another that their current standards are unacceptable.
The defender said:
“I think in the team we are all quite clear; sometimes it hurts. This is normal.
“But as a good team, which I think we are, you can speak out this truth.
“You don’t like to hear them sometimes in the first moments.
“But everybody knows that something has to happen and that we must improve.
“We have to work on these kinds of things and for these kinds of things you have to talk.
“There was a big focus on defending [after losing to Napoli] because this is the biggest thing to get successful. I think this is the first step, defend good.
“I think it always helps if you return to the roots, which are successful roots. If you’re based on this, this can give you help for a struggling time.”
Matip has made just one start for Liverpool this season after struggling with injury, but came off the bench in their last two games and could be in line to start against Ajax on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old has been at Anfield since 2016 after arriving on a free transfer from Schalke and has accepted his status as a role model for younger players, especially when things are not going well.
“You need to lead, and you need to talk with each other and need to help each other.
“That’s the only [way], you cannot go as a person out of this, only as a team.
“For this, you need to have teammates, and you need to help your teammates.
“If you are old and experienced, you should do it.”
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