Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer believes Liverpool have not improved under Jurgen Klopp and that the Reds are not better now than they were under the German's predecessor Brendan Rodgers,
The Reds' lackadaisical defending was again on display on Saturday (16 September), as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Anfield by Burnley, their second home draw in four days after the 2-2 stalemate with Sevilla in their Champions League opener.
While Liverpool have developed into a potent attacking threat since Klopp's arrival, their back four has come under intense criticism for a series of mistakes that have cost the team points. The Merseysiders have already conceded nine goals in their first Premier League games, as many as Watford, Leicester and Bournemouth.
Only West Ham United and Everton have conceded more and while only the two Manchester clubs have outscored Liverpool, Shearer believes Klopp has not improved the team since replacing Rodgers in October 2015, when the latter was sacked after a run of one win in nine games.
"He [Klopp] got them back into the Champions League with last season's fourth place, which will have bought him plenty of boardroom bonus points," the former Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle striker wrote in his column in the Sun.
"The truth, however, is that Liverpool are no different under boss Klopp than they were under Brendan Rodgers. Brilliant going forward but not so clever at the back."
In his first season at Anfield, Klopp took Liverpool to the final of the League Cup and of the Europa League only to lose both, before guiding the team back to the Champions League after a two-season hiatus.
However, Shearer feels the issues that cost Liverpool the title under the Rodgers have yet not been addressed and could continue to hamper the Reds' chances to mount a sustained challenge for a first Premier League crown.
Rodgers' side were the third-highest scorers in the history of the Premier League but missed out what would have been a first title in 23 years due a to lack of defensive solidity.
"Manchester City scored one more and beat them to the title by two points [in 2013-14]," added Shearer. "But it was mainly down to the fact Liverpool's prowess in attack was not matched by their defending.
"They conceded 50 goals that season — more than anyone else in the top five. I am left wondering just what he does on the training ground when the same defensive errors are repeated week in, week out."
Following back-to-back trips to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester in the third round of the EFL Cup and in the Premier League, Liverpool face Spartak Moscow away in the Champions League ahead of a trip to Newcastle before the international break.