Graeme Souness says that Liverpool are currently “not up for that challenge” of competing for the Premier League title.
The Reds romped to the title last season, finishing 18 points ahead of nearest challengers Manchester City after winning the Champions League the campaign before.
Liverpool had been top of the league until recently this campaign with their poor form seeing them nose dive to fourth in the standings.
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Defeat to Burnley on Thursday night ended their unbeaten home league run stretching back to April 2017 and meant they haven’t picked up a win in their last five Premier League matches.
And Souness thinks it will now be a “real test” for Liverpool to mount a title challenge with a tough run of fixtures coming up.
Souness told Sky Sports: “This has been coming. Liverpool have been a shadow of the team we’ve seen for the best part of three years.
“There wasn’t any sparkle, they were flat when they got the ball into the final third and when the time came to deliver, delivery was poor time and time again. They lacked quality all the way through.
“Jurgen has some hard thinking to do. Some of those players look like they are shot. There is no sparkle about them. This will be a real test for these players. Jurgen will now find out what he has in the dressing room.”
Souness added: “There is so much expectation on their shoulders because of what they have done in the last couple of seasons – European champions, Premier League champions.
“The expectation levels are there and on their shoulders. It was at the start of the season and they have not dealt with it very well.
“That’s what makes you a special team. It’s hard enough to win it. But to retain it and stay there, year in and year out, that’s what makes you a special team and right now this Liverpool team are not up for that challenge.”