Martin Skrtel made his first appearance of 2016 for Liverpool after a prolonged injury and it was one of the worst defensive performance by the Slovakian defender. Liverpool were in a very good position till the time Lovren was replaced by Skrtel. He conceded a penalty and not to mention about the defensive blunders which cost his team 3 goals and 3 points. The fans could not digest this and took their rage out on the social media urging the manager to let Skrtel go off during the summer break. The Slovakian has been with the Reds for eight years now and the 31 year old is expected to make his way out this season.
Jurgen Klopp has already confirmed the signing of Schalke defender Joel Matip who is set to arrive this summer and he is considered as the potential replacement to Skrtel at the back. Klopp is looking for a complete revival of team and is targeting to get rid of tiring legs. Liverpool had a good run of games until the first half of the game against Southampton. Since the 14th February, a 6-0 win over Aston Villa, and the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Thursday the Anfield outfit have only conceded three times.
Some critical facts
Before Skrtel’s arrival on the pitch, Liverpool had just conceded three goals in as many as 795 minutes and they managed to concede the same in a span of 45 minutes. The defensive combination of Lovren and Sakho at the back was really doing wonders for Klopp.
Also, if we look at the performance of Liverpool in the presence of Skrtel, their win rate in his absence is much better. If we look at the current season, Skrtel has featured in 18 games out of which Liverpool managed to win only six. In the 11 games which have not featured Skrtel, Liverpool also managed the same number of victories making the win percentage to 54.4%.
Fans generally show sympathy when a defender scores an own goal but that happens when the occurrence of the own goal is rare. Martin Skrtel has the record for scoring the 2nd most number of own goals in the history of the premier league which makes a serious reason of annoyance for fans. Also, if we look at the number of major honors or silverware, Liverpool have managed only one during his eight years of service. However, Skrtel is not the only one to be blamed for this but considering his current form this issue becomes very critical.