Noel Whelan has slaughtered Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson for his display in the 4-1 loss to Manchester City on Sunday.
The former Leeds United forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp “cannot defend” what was the “worst performance” he has ever seen from the 28-year-old.
Two second-half howlers from Alisson helped Manchester City to their first win at Anfield since 2003.
Speaking after the defeat, Klopp told Sky Sports that the Brazilian’s mistakes could be a result of “cold feet”.
Whelan rejected the suggestion and claimed the Liverpool manager defends his players “too much”.
“You cannot defend mistakes like that,” he told Football Insider.
“It was probably the worst display I have ever seen from him and it could not have come on a worse day. Alisson is usually a very consistent goalkeeper.
“You cannot say it is cold feet. This is a player that has played in the World Cup, Champions League finals – huge matches. It was just a very bad performance.
“You will get punished at any level for mistakes like that. When you give the ball away cheaply against Manchester City you will get punished.
“You cannot defend Alisson’s performance. At the end of the day, it was not good enough. Jamie Carragher’s voice said it all.
“I do not understand Klopp’s reasoning. I understand that you want to protect your players but sometimes I believe they need to be criticised. They are man enough, big enough and get paid enough to admit their mistakes.
“Klopp defends them too much. Sometimes you cannot hide behind the cracks. It is right there for everyone to see. We are not stupid. You cannot defend that performance from Alisson, it was a bad, bad night for him.”