Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper David James slams 'mediocre' Reds in Europa League draw

Anfield

David James blasted a “mediocre” display from Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s first game at Anfield ended in a 1-1 draw with Rubin Kazan.

The Russian side took the lead inside the first 15 minutes when Marko Devic struck, but the home side were handed an advantage when Rubin captain Oleg Kuzmin was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Liverpool equalised directly from the free-kick that saw Kuzmin given his marching orders, as Emre Can eventually swept the ball home on 37 minutes, but Klopp’s side struggled to create anything too clear cut for the remainder of the game.

Christian Benteke made his first appearance of the month as a second-half substitute for Philippe Coutinho, and the big-money striker came closest to giving his side the lead as he struck the post towards the end of the game.

Speaking after the match, former goalkeeper James stated that Klopp’s charges were far from their best, and he admitted that it will take time before the charismatic former Borussia Dortmund coach’s ideas are translated onto the pitch.

James told BT Sport: “It was poor passing, poor runs and it was indicative of Liverpool throughout the season. Rubin defended well, but it wasn’t as though they were excelling themselves, they had to deal with mediocre forward play.

“I imagine that Jurgen has had them in this week working on the closing down and the pressing and he’s had to work on that intensively. He’ll have to work on the finishing now, and he can’t do everything at once, therefore there will be progression.

“You still expect them to beat Rubin Kazan though. Simon Mignolet hasn’t had to make loads of saves tonight . There are things to be worked on and it won’t be solved overnight. Liverpool had 21 shots outside the box tonight, it was poor.

“He won’t change things in a week but you expect your players not to be shooting all the time from 20-25 yards. Be a bit more creative with your passing.”

Klopp’s men return to action when they host Southampton on Sunday, and Daniel Sturridge is expected to return from a knee injury that has ruled him out of both games under the German so far.

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