Former Liverpool captain Ronnie Whelan has slammed manager Rafa Benitez over their recent poor form.

"To get beaten by Barnsley - I don't know what's going on. The performances on the pitch have been absolutely abysmal," Whelan told RTE radio. "Okay, you say 'now and again there's a cup upset, it's a one-off' but it's not really a one-off at the moment with Liverpool.

"They struggled against a team six leagues below in the round before, who no-one had ever heard of. They struggled against Luton, they're having a lot of struggles at the moment.

"They have no chance of winning the league. And I think the manager is under a lot of pressure now."

Whelan continued: "He spent an awful lot of money on an awful lot of players and they haven't been very good signings.

"And people are shouting, 'get rid of the Americans'. The Americans have backed the manager to the hilt. They gave him £46million or something to spend in the summer.

"He's spent nearly £140/150million and he still cannot get close to Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea.

"The players he signed I don't think are good enough. After all the money he's spent they're still further behind than they were last year.

"So then you have to start looking at the manager who is buying the players and picking the team."