Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has criticised Liverpool’s “small-club mentality” following their shock defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday. The loss came just six days after the team had thrashed Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield. Ferdinand also aimed a dig at ex-Liverpool players Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness for their on-air celebrations following the Manchester United game.
Speaking on FIVE, Ferdinand said: “That is a small club mentality. That screams small club.” He went on to say that Carragher and Souness should be “ashamed of themselves” for their behaviour on air.
Liverpool’s defeat saw them lose ground in the race for the top four, leaving them six points behind Newcastle. Manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that the team had struggled to make an impact against a compact Bournemouth side. Speaking on BT Sport, he said: “We were dominant in the first half but mostly we put ball in at the wrong moment against a compact side. They had their counter-attacks they wanted to have. I really think the spaces we had to play were super clear, super open.”
Klopp added that the team had failed to defend well against Bournemouth’s counter-attacks and that they had missed opportunities to create chances.
Liverpool’s defeat was a surprise result, given their impressive performance against Manchester United the previous week. However, it is not the first time that the team has struggled against less high-profile opponents this season. Earlier in November, they lost 2-0 to Atalanta in the Champions League, despite having beaten them 5-0 just three weeks earlier.
The defeat to Bournemouth has raised questions about Liverpool’s ability to compete at the highest level this season. The team has been hit by injuries to key players, including Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and has struggled to maintain consistency in recent weeks.
Despite these challenges, Klopp remains confident that Liverpool can turn their fortunes around. Speaking after the Bournemouth game, he said: “We have to show a reaction now. We have to show that we can deal with setbacks. We have to show that we can fight back.”
Liverpool will face Midtjylland in the Champions League on Wednesday before taking on Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday. The team will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Bournemouth and regain some momentum as they head into the busy festive period.