Date: 11th January 2019 at 7:10pm
Written by:

OPINION

Monday night saw numerous below par performances for Liverpool, but one of the most notable was that of midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.

The Switzerland international endured undoubtedly the worst game of his young Liverpool career in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat, and he will be under pressure to bounce back against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

The 27-year-old came under fire from some quarters for supposedly going hiding during Stoke City’s battle against Premier League relegation last season, and we saw a glimpse of what an anonymous Shaqiri looks like for Liverpool on Monday.

Up until this point the playmaker has always produced positive performances in a Reds shirt to varying degrees of effectiveness.

However, marvellous free kick that was somehow saved by John Ruddy aside, he did precious little to change the outcome in a flat Liverpool performance.

Perhaps he is someone who plays well when his team is playing well and doesn’t when they’re not. It certainly looked like that on Monday and that’s probably how the Stoke fans view him.

That’s the narrative he’ll be looking to shatter on Saturday. If Liverpool are playing well then he won’t be able to completely disprove that theory, but it’s important that he gets back on the horse after a woeful display at Molineux.

He was kept subdued all night long by Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, and Chris Hughton will be looking for his players to do the same thing on Saturday.

If the Swiss star can rise above the Seagulls’ spoiling tactics and produce the sort of performance that he wasn’t able to on Monday then he’ll go some way to proving that he’s not simply a flat track bully.