Carra: Big decisions over future of Salah, Nunez

Carra on the future of Mo Salah

“There is a real discussion for the new manager about what the future holds for Mo Salah – it’s the first time we’ve asked that question. He only has a year to go on his contract.

“He’s looked a shadow of himself for a lot of this season but especially since he’s come back from injury. He is Liverpool’s legend, superstar, one of the all-time greats. But he’s been so far off it.”

Mohamed Salah's returns for goals and assists have dropped off since New Year's Day, despite hitting more shots on target and clocking a higher xG per 90 minutes
Mohamed Salah’s returns for goals and assists have dropped off since New Year’s Day, despite hitting more shots on target and clocking a higher xG per 90 minutes

Carra on whether Nunez is good enough to be a title-winning striker

Misfiring forwards have cost Liverpool big this season
Misfiring forwards have cost Liverpool big this season

“You want him to do well because he gives everything, he causes trouble, he gets the odd goal. But after two years, when Liverpool are going for the title or in big games, you need your man to score at Old Trafford or at Goodison Park. This is the business end. He’s ground to a halt.

“After two years there’s going to be no improvement in him. This is what he is. He can cause trouble but he’s erratic with his finishing – it’s not enough to win you trophies so there’s a big decision to be made on him.”

Carra on Nunez’s pivotal missed chance just before half-time

Darwin Nunez is denied by Jordan Pickford in Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to Everton
Darwin Nunez is denied by Jordan Pickford in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat to Everton

“The chance Nunez misses is unforgivable at this level. It’s not acceptable when you’re going for a title.”

Nunez’s glaring chance registered 0.506 xG, which ranks as Liverpool’s 11th-worst miss from open play in the Premier League this season.

Nunez’s worst open-play misses in PL this season

Date Opponent Minute xG
Sep 3 Aston Villa 49 0.614
Jan 1 Newcastle 12 0.516
Feb 10 Burnley 95 0.516
Apr 24 Everton 35 0.506

‘Can Nunez, Gakpo and Diaz go from rough diamonds to the real deal?’

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

Darwin Nunez is still a striker that’s developing but he cost a lot of money. We watched Nicolas Jackson last night and that young man has been criticised heavily, but Nunez is missing as big, if not bigger, chances – and with a bigger price tag.

“I don’t really ever go at players for missing chances because of the position I played in, but if that was a striker in my team, I’d be fuming. That chance in the first half was as simple as putting the ball in the back of the net should be for a striker at this level. Just put it into the corner. Jordan Pickford left such a gap. The goal was gaping, yet he snatches ,and he’s not got the confidence.

“He hasn’t built in his mind what is a Darwin Nunez finish. With the best strikers, you know what they’re going to do when they get into a certain position. With Mo Salah, you know he gets it onto his left foot and sets it out into the far corner. He was below par tonight as well.

“Luis Diaz is electric – I’d have hated to play against him. But the next few years of success at Liverpool will come down to whether Cody Gakpo, Nunez and Diaz can step up and go from rough diamonds into the real deal. That’s a big question mark and we’re going to have another coach who’s going to try to deliver that.”

Carra on Liverpool’s need to replace Konate

“Konate has been so poor of late. Liverpool need to buy a centre-back in the summer.”

Carra on Liverpool’s over-reliance on Van Dijk

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin heads Everton into a two-goal lead against Liverpool

“Everton did a job on Van Dijk, basically saying ‘if we block him, we will have joy against the other players.’

“It’s easy to say ‘Calvert-Lewin had a bit of joy, Van Dijk got blocked off there and got blocked off there’. Van Dijk takes that much responsibility on almost every set-piece. Where are the others? It can’t always be about Van Dijk. If you have the opposition blocking you from winning headers, it shows how dominant you are. He needs more help. You need more people taking responsibility and not just leaving it to the captain. He needs help and he never got it tonight.”

Carra on the title race…

“This is the end of the title run for Liverpool. It almost feels like the end. They just have to make sure they finish the season strongly.

“They had enough chances in the game but at the moment they are not clinical enough in both boxes.

“I don’t think you can get too angry with the team or Jurgen Klopp. It’s been a great ride and a great journey. But tonight is Everton’s night and you have to take it on the chin.”

Carra on Liverpool over-performing but not being good enough

“Man City are on a different level to Liverpool and l also think Arsenal have the edge on Liverpool. In the last six to eight weeks when the top three have been going for the title, it has been a hope rather than a belief.

“In some ways, l think this team has over-achieved because l don’t actually think they are that good.

“I don’t mean that as a criticism. They have done brilliantly well, they have lost four games out of the last 44 in the Premier League. I am finding it hard to be too critical because with the team and the quality of the players they have got… they have over-performed this season and they are just not quite good enough. When it has come to the crunch, they have just been a little bit short.”

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