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Crouch: Mane and Firmino currently lack confidence but should not be sold

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are severely lacking confidence in their game but they deserve the benefit of the doubt according to Peter Crouch.

 

The misfiring Liverpool front line has been the topic for much debate throughout the season and has arguably become a bigger issue that the back four who despite a number of key absentees have held together quite well.

 

Mo Salah has carried a significant load this season scoring 20 goals in the league, and 29 in all competitions while Diogo Jota despite missing close to three months with a knee injury has managed to be another option for Jurgen Klopp and scored 12 goals in all competitions.

 

But it is the significant drop off in the output of Mane in particular which has highlighted the most.

 

In the previous three seasons the Senegalese superstar has scored over 20 goals in all competitions, while in the last two league campaigns he has scored 22 and 18 goals respectively.

 

Despite playing a similar number of games this season, Mane has scored just 13 goals and eight in the league.

 

The Former Reds striker said in his Daily Mail column (per the Mirror) that after closely observing his game on the weekend that he is going through a major crisis of confidence.

 

“One thing jumped out at me on Saturday, when I was watching the game.

 

“It was the moment Mohamed Salah got through in the first half and teed it up for Mane to finish.

 

“The Mane of last year or the year before doesn't think twice and he puts his foot through it.

 

"When he took a touch, however, I knew that was it, his confidence has deserted him.”

 

mane3_600.jpg

 

Crouch said that despite Firmino’s technical qualities being indisputable, his finishing in front of goal is largely absent at this point of time.

 

“I watch Firmino play and I see a beautiful footballer, whose flicks and positional play are outstanding but when he takes a shot, I expect it to roll on the floor to the goalkeeper."

 

But despite those observations and a prevailing view that maybe it is time to freshen up the front line, Crouch believes their prior performances mean that they deserve another season to show they still have their touch but the pressure will be on them like never before.

 

“I was asked about moving them on by a reader last week and I found it disrespectful to say, after all they have done, that they should be sold.

 

"I'm prepared to give both of them some grace this season because things have been so strange.

 

"Liverpool need the season to end, their players need to be re-energised and I wouldn't write them off.

 

"At the same time, they really do have something to prove in August."

 

 

Edited by TLW


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23 minutes ago, johnsusername said:

Firmino is finished.

I think that with a full compliment he could change roles or be a back up but the problem is that if we need to 'freshen' things up,very likely,we will have to sell to buy.

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34 minutes ago, VladimirIlyich said:

I think that with a full compliment he could change roles or be a back up but the problem is that if we need to 'freshen' things up,very likely,we will have to sell to buy.

He's on £180,000 a week - can we pay back ups that much? 

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45 minutes ago, johnsusername said:

He's on £180,000 a week - can we pay back ups that much? 

A backup that offers fuck all pretty much the situation we have with the current backups.  Why not...

 

Both need to be sold.  Firmino because he's shit and Mane due to his age and contract length.

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The way I look at things is, I feel this team has peaked. If we want to win another title, Jurgen needs to freshen things up. Yes, I really wish the same players could break another marathon record but I think it's unlikely.

 

And Im sorry if I sound like a stuck record but I dont understand how any player can lose confidence so badly playing in empty stadiums.

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I think both will be here next season and, though I’m frustrated to fuck with Bobby especially, I wouldn’t be against it assuming another younger forward is coming in who can put the ball in the net. 
 

I’m also unsure who would even buy them this summer? They’re both 29 and on sky high wages. Given the state of the market and their performances over the past twelve months, I don’t think there is a buyer for either of them unless we virtually give them away. 

Both are down to 2 years on their contracts now. I can’t see us renegotiating either one as things stands. 

 

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 Crouch makes a reasonable point and sounds more balanced about it than most of us on here. My problem though is the length of time this ‘bad patch’ has gone on for, particularly with Firmino. He’s always been inconsistent, but now it’s just almost constantly terrible. I’d keep Mane though.  Put on a YouTube video of his top 50 goals on a massive screen, give him a massive line and a cigar and press play.
 

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