Liverpool: Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has insisted his old club are "in a crisis" following last weekend's defeat by Newcastle -- their sixth loss in seven Premier League games.
Liverpool have won this season's League Cup -- their first trophy in six years -- and return to Wembley a week on Saturday for an FA Cup semi-final with Merseyside rivals Everton.
However, their 2-0 loss to Newcastle left Liverpool eighth in the table, with the five-times European champions 16 points off a place in next season's Champions League and only seven Premier League matches remaining this season.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge claims the Reds are now a club "in crisis".
"There is no getting away from the fact that Liverpool are now in a crisis," Aldridge, who played under manager Kenny Dalglish in the 1980s during the Anfield great's first spell in charge, wrote in Tuesday's Liverpool Echo.
"To lose six out of seven in the league is something the club won't ever tolerate, we can't tolerate that.
"To have picked up just eight points out of 36 since the turn of the year is shambolic -- that's relegation form.
"The fact that this is the worst run in the league since 1954 speaks volumes. Questions are being asked and they need to be answered.
"The eyes of the world are on Liverpool and the critics are having a field day. We're becoming a laughing stock.
"We're all proud to be associated with the club and everything it has achieved over the years. But at the moment being a Liverpool fan is just embarrassing and that's something I haven't had to say before."
Aldridge added the bulk of the blame rested with the players, rather than Dalglish, who has nevertheless come under fire for his transfer market dealings, with Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam, who between them cost some £85 million, having so far failed to produce the goods.
"The team just seems to have lost their belief," said Aldridge. "You can blame the manager and the coaching staff but at the end of the day it comes down to the players.
"They are getting paid unbelievable amounts of money and aren't producing the goods.
"Some of them should take a long hard look in the mirror.
"They are playing for Liverpool Football Club - one of the biggest clubs in the world - it doesn't get much better than that.
"They need to realise how lucky they are and start doing it or their Anfield careers won't last much longer."
He added: "More than anything I want to see some pride. That's all we're playing for in the league now but there doesn't seem to be much pride around."