Liverpool’s loss to Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Monday “could be the best thing that happened to them,” according to Paul Merson.
Raul Jimenez gave Wolves the lead before Divock Origi got one back for the visitors, however a long-range strike from Ruben Neves handed Nuno Espirito Santo’s side a place in the fourth round.
Liverpool were well below par at Molineux but Merson, who was speaking on Sky Sports show The Debate, thinks it could be Jurgen Klopp‘s side’s chance to concentrate on the Premier League.
Merson said: “They’re in an unbelievable position to make history, they haven’t won the league in 29 years – don’t get carried away and start thinking about the double, concentrate on the league.
“As long as it doesn’t affect the players’ thinking, two defeats on the trot, but they’ve just been beaten by Man City, one of the best teams in the world, and made nine changes tonight. For me, it could be the best thing that happened to them.”
Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes, who was appearing on the programme alongside Merson, reckons the FA Cup loss will “blow over” if they manage to get a good result at Brighton on Saturday.
“You make nine changes in an FA Cup match, it keeps the squad rotated and healthy, but it’s two losses. It’s how the dressing room manages that going into the weekend.
“They’ve shown they’ve been the top team in the Premier League so far, barring that City result, but they were always due a period where it got tougher. If they come through on Saturday, when they’re expected to, it’ll blow over so quickly.
“I think you’re damned if you do or don’t. You’ve got a squad to get you through the season, you prioritise the league, and if he doesn’t do that, he runs the risk of asking too much of players who have been carrying things potentially. The whole point of having a squad is for games like tonight, to fill in where necessary.”