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Roberto Firmino has lost his Liverpool mojo – it’s time for Diogo Jota to replace him – John Aldridge

Jurgen Klopp will no doubt be saying that Liverpool’s Champions League hopes are not over until it’s mathematically confirmed.

But you have to say it is looking less and less likely by the game, isn’t it?

It was gut-wrenching not to have won that game against Newcastle to be fair because the performance was good in the fact that they created so many chances.

Klopp took a risk and left it open with the amount of attackers in the side and that is why Newcastle had opportunities themselves, but the four forwards worked.

Three of those forwards on their day could have scored a hat-trick, but Roberto Firmino was once again someway short of his best.

The longer the game went on you could sense the Newcastle equaliser happening.

You just knew something was in the air and in the end, Liverpool got what they deserved for being too lenient with them.

The goal from Mo Salah was just him at his best.

But I think what sort of sums it up at the moment was Sadio Mane laughing after he missed that big chance in the first half.

That is basically a reaction of embarrassment because he doesn’t know what to do.

He’s going through a bad time at the moment, even though he scored against Leeds, but his reaction to that chance sums it all up for me, it really does.

Since the 7-0 game against Crystal Palace, Liverpool have just not been at it at all in the final third.

The defence has been OK in the most part with some clean sheets, so you can’t be overly critical there, but they can’t kill teams off.

From my point of view as a former striker, there is no real belief in the forwards and it is horrible to see.

Mane and Firmino are well off it and Jota, OK, he didn’t have a great game against Newcastle, but he always looked like making something happen with his energy and work-rate.

For me, he has to play every game now because he is getting chances that others aren’t.

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As long as that keeps happening, he will get goals, so he is now an automatic starter for me.

Look at Firmino, he is a problem.

He has lost his mojo completely and I have been one of his biggest fans, but it has been like this for a long time now.

It is evident to all the fans.

Jurgen believes him, of course, and he is continuing to play to get himself out of the slump but it looks more and more unlikely the longer it goes on.

His demeanour is different and he drops into midfield to do a job there at times, but when you have a number nine on your back, your job is to score goals.

I don’t want to dig him out too much because I have been one of his biggest fans for years.

But having said that, as a No.9 at Liverpool you have to get your share of the goals that will get them team victories and that just is not happening.

He’s lost his belief, totally, his confidence, everything in his game seems to have gone and he just can’t shake himself out of it.

Maybe he needs a break?

Maybe next season the return of the fans will help him out of it?

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