Jurgen Klopp’s squad rotation for Liverpool’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Wolves was let down by players who “failed miserably”, according to former England captain Alan Shearer.
Klopp made nine changes to his starting XI, which included two teenage debutants – and brought on a third after an early injury to Dejan Lovren.
“When you rotate as he did you’re gambling,” Shearer told BBC Sport.
“He’s looking to these guys to give him a performance – they failed miserably.”
Shearer later tweeted: “I was brought up watching Liverpool trying to win every trophy. Why should that change?”
‘It’s all my responsibility’ – Klopp
Klopp’s potent attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane began on the bench as the manager picked Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in attack.
However, there was only one pass made between the pair and only one touch in the opposition’s penalty area during the first half.
Origi did produce a better display after the break, scoring Liverpool’s equaliser, but Sturridge, out of contract in the summer, failed to make an impact and was replaced in the 70th minute.
At the other end, left-back Alberto Moreno was the only recognised defensive player in a backline which contained midfielder Fabinho at centre-back, alongside 16-year-old Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever, who replaced Lovren. Portuguese Rafael Camacho, 18, started at right-back.
“It’s all my responsibility – they had no rhythm,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “There were not a lot of good decisions from me – that’s how the days are sometimes.”
Monday’s loss at Molineux was the first time Liverpool have suffered back-to back defeats this season.
Wolves took the lead before the break when Raul Jimenez fired in low following a mistake by James Milner. Portuguese attacking midfielder Ruben Neves scored the winner in the second half, with a brilliant strike from more than 30 yards.
Despite Monday’s defeat, Klopp said: “It’s all good. Of course, we don’t want to lose football games but it’s nothing else.
“For us it was an unbelievably intense period, having played Arsenal and Manchester City.
“We saw after the City game four or five players got ill immediately. We tried everything and we wanted to give the boys confidence, but that didn’t really work out today. We’ve played worse, we’ve played better.”