It has been a season of struggle for Roberto Firmino, and the Liverpool striker was the first to admit it as he assessed his form, saying “I know that I’m not at my best.”
With Liverpool suffering throughout the campaign, Firmino has been one of those to most noticeably flounder as he fails to replicate the form that has made him to integral to Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
In 41 appearances so far, the Brazilian has scored six goals and laid on seven assists, with this by far his worst return since joining the Reds from Hoffenheim in 2015.
Firmino’s influence has never truly been measured in numbers, of course, but the 29-year-old is visibly struggling to replicate his best form as Liverpool’s all-action, pressing centre-forward.
He knows that, with Firmino giving an honest take on his situation in an interview with ESPN Brasil.
“It’s been a difficult season for me,” he admitted.
“We have to be sincere, there’s no lack of hope for improvement. My desire is to evolve and grow every day. There’s no lack of motivation for me.
“I charge myself a lot. I know that I’m not at my best moment compared to the last few years.
“I always want to be helping with goals and assists, but that hasn’t been happening, unfortunately.
“But I don’t give up. I’m always looking to improve to help my team to be better, together with the group. I have to evolve day after day.”
It is difficult to argue with Firmino’s assessment, and it is encouraging in a way that the No. 9 recognises his drop in form and is resolved to correct it.
Elsewhere in his interview, Firmino noted that Liverpool’s opponents have more regularly taken a different approach to their meetings, dropping deep to pack the defensive third and crowd out the Reds’ attackers.
In theory, his ability to shift into space and link up play should help to counteract this, and Firmino explained that Liverpool “have to keep fighting.”
“For our team as a whole, the season hasn’t been as good as last year. But we have to find a way to continue,” he said.
“Our opponents today have a different look at our team. Of course, they always respected us, but today they retreat very defensively.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult for us to get in and score goals.