The Merseysiders’ early hopes of a title challenge were extinguished in mid-season following a series of indifferent results against those in bottom half of the Premier League table.
Liverpool have suffered defeats to Bournemouth, Swansea City, Hull City and Leicester City since December, and have dropped points against both West Ham United and Sunderland.
These results contrast with their record against the top six, with Klopp’s side topping the ‘mini-league’ between the title and Champions League contenders, and Souness, a former Liverpool captain and manager, has called on his old club to iron out such inconsistencies.
“Liverpool supporters will be mystified by their team. They play well against the big guys and slip up against the lesser lights,” he writes in The Times.
“When I played for Liverpool, Manchester United were like Liverpool are now. Against the big clubs, they would turn up, but they would suffer daft defeats and draws against the also-rans.
“If you are going to win this league, that’s something you have to get right. We were constantly reminded of that at Liverpool when we were either European champions or defending league champions,” he added.
“They would say to us, ‘This might not be the biggest game of your season, but it is for the guy across the corridor.’”
Souness does, however, believe that Liverpool will have enough to claim a top four finish, and believes that Arsenal and Manchester United are the two clubs who will miss out.
The Sky Sports pundit suggests that United “might have had too many home draws in the first part of the season” to qualify for next season’s Champions League through the traditional route.
“Arsenal usually falter in February and March, then reach the top four with a late run in April and May, but I don’t see it happening after their defeat at West Bromwich Albion,” he adds.
“As long as there are doubts over Arsène Wenger’s future, it gives the weak personalities in their squad another excuse.”