Graeme Souness has slammed Liverpool for being "lightweight" during their 1-0 Champions League defeat to Basel.
The Merseyside club failed to dominate the game and their poor defence saw Marco Streller score the only goal of the game from a set piece early in the second half.
The result was the Reds' fourth defeat in all competitions this season and Brendan Rodgers has admitted his side are technically nowhere close to that of the last season.
Liverpool saw their last season's star player Luis Suarez join Barcelona, while Daniel Sturridge is sidelined with injury. The former Reds midfielder says Rodgers is missing the goal-scoring ability of the two star strikers.
"Tonight they were lightweight. You can talk all you want about tactics and formations, but if every one of the midfielders isn't winning challenges and the other team keeps taking the ball off you then you're always going to be on the back foot," Souness told Sky Sports.
"Last year they were effervescent, they were bubbly and it didn't matter how a game was going because sooner or later they were going to dominate the ball and be on the attack."
"There was wave after wave of attacks and Suarez was continually scoring goals – and Sturridge as well. This year they look a shadow of that team. They look as if they have dropped not one or two notches down the ladder, but several.
"This year they look a shadow of that team. They look as if they have dropped not one or two notches down the ladder, but several," he added.
The defeat away in Switzerland has seen Liverpool sit third in the group and they face Real Madrid twice in their next two Champions League fixtures. Souness believes the Anfield club's chances of qualifying for the knockout round have been difficult with the latest result.
"They played against a Basel team, who are arguably - when you look at the two games in the group - worse than Ludogorets. Real Madrid did not have an easy trip there," the former Liverpool midfielder said.
"Liverpool still have to go there and after the next two games against Real Madrid they could find themselves in a very difficult situation. They have to get their form back and they have to get it back quickly," Souness concluded.