Martin Keown criticised Joe Matip for 'panicking' during Liverpool's Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.
With Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk crocked, Matip partnered Fabinho at the heart of defence.
Jurgen Klopp's side kept a clean sheet in the bore draw at Anfield, but the Cameroon international still came under fire.
Keown told the Daily Mail : "Everyone thought the absence of Virgil van Dijk would cost Liverpool defensively. While the makeshift centre-half pairing of Joel Matip and Fabinho kept a clean sheet — no mean feat against Bayern Munich — they missed the Dutchman's forward thinking.
"Positivity from the centre backs is crucial to the way Jurgen Klopp's team play. Van Dijk and Joe Gomez — Liverpool's first-choice pairing — are usually effortless in possession. They are always looking to play forwards to give the platform to build their attacks.
"That was not always the case on Tuesday night. Matip, in particular, panicked in possession. His most frequent pass in the first half was back to Alisson, finding his goalkeeper eight times.
"It prevented Liverpool from getting on the front foot and striking an early blow.
"Bayern may not be the force they once were but they still carry the aura of champions. They were able to grow in confidence throughout the match and their forwards quickly started to anticipate that Matip would keep going backwards.
"When I was playing in defence for Arsenal nothing made Arsene Wenger more angry than when we passed back to David Seaman. Go forward and the opposition are deterred from pressing your goalkeeper. Go back and you only invite them on."