By Matt Farr
John Aldridge has fronted an attack on Liverpool’s owners as their topsy-turvy season stuttered yet again with another shock defeat.
Liverpool’s hopes of a top four finish were dealt a crushing blow on Sunday as they were beaten 2-1 by Crystal Palace at Anfield.
They are still third in the Premier League, but they hold just a three-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in-hand.
However, after their latest defeat, Liverpool favourite Aldridge insists that club’s owners – the Fenway Sports Group – are to blame, as the club ‘don’t have enough players.’
In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge insisted that the Merseyside club were being forced to rely too heavily on youth to fulfil their ambitions.
He wrote: “If the weekend showed us anything, it’s that we don’t have enough players. And the owners simply have to realise that.
“You want to have young lads coming through the ranks, but you don’t want to leave yourself relying on them at this stage of the season with so much at stake.
“We’ve been unfortunate in that a lot of our injuries have been to key players. If we hadn’t had those problems, I’m convinced we’d already be on the brink of Champions League qualification.”
Liverpool have been without star midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana for a prolonged period, leaving Jurgen Klopp short of options in the engine room.
Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Dejan Lovren have also spent considerable time on the sidelines this term, with top goalscorer Sadio Mane currently out for the remainder of the season.
The continued absence of a number of Liverpool’s regular first-team performers has seen Klopp call upon the likes of Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold to fill the void in recent weeks.
But despite their impressive displays for the club’s academy setup, Aldridge does not believe they have enough quality to ease Liverpool through their current predicament.
Liverpool face Watford, Southampton, West Ham and Middlesbrough in their final four Premier League matches this season, as they look to seal a return to the Champions League following their one-year absence.
In other Liverpool news, Ragnar Klavan believes this could be massive for the club ahead of their clash with Watford.