Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher is wrong to say Roberto Firmino needs time out of the Reds starting XI, according to Rangers legend Ally McCoist. Firmino has scored just one goal in 12 appearances for Liverpool so far this season. The form of summer signing Diogo Jota, who has already scored seven times for his new club, has led to calls for Firmino to be dropped.
Earlier this month, Carragher insisted it would be beneficial for the Brazilian to be left on the bench for a few matches.
He said on talkSPORT: “Firmino isn’t in great form now and I don’t think he was in great form last season.
“Even though Liverpool won the league, certain things got masked. Firmino didn’t score a goal at home in the Premier League until the last game against Chelsea.
“Liverpool fans are educated enough that Liverpool’s goalscorers are out wide.
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“But even the pressing stats, I checked them the other day and they weren’t at the numbers they normally are.
“You have ups and downs in your career… sit on the bench. Everyone is looking at him, so just leave him out for me for the next three or four games.”
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But former forward McCoist disagrees and says leaving Firmino out will not help his confidence.
McCoist said: “It’s interesting listening to Jamie Carragher as it’s clearly a defender talking, because if you’re the centre-forward you don’t want to be left out.
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“It’s the last thing you want to happen. I take Jamie’s point: in some cases it might be good for the player and the team, but if you are that centre-forward you don’t want to be left out.”
Meanwhile, former England striker Darren Bent says Firmino’s lack of goals has been covered up by Liverpool’s recent success.
“In Liverpool’s case with Firmino, because they’ve won everything the emphasis is not as bad,” Bent said.
“They won the Premier League and Champions League; he’s maybe not scoring as consistently but they are still picking up the big trophies.
“On the flip side, if your team is not doing so well and you’re not scoring, that’s when people will maybe criticise you a bit more.
“Firmino is always, ‘I’ve been doing the job for my team, holding the ball up well as the glue that’s holding [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane together’.
“Jota’s now come in and put pressure on, and people may have opened their eyes a little bit and thought, ‘hold on here, it shouldn’t just be Mane or Salah getting the goals’, because Jota came in and started smashing them as well.”
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