Former Premier League manager Harry Redknapp has laid into Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp, suggesting his current team is no better than Brendan Rodgers’ one.
In his column for the Evening Standard, Redknapp claims he made a bet with Steven Gerrard and Steve McManaman at the beginning of this campaign that Klopp’s side wouldn’t finish in the top four.
Right now, following a run of two wins in 12 matches in all competitions (one of which was in the FA Cup against Plymouth…), we sit in fifth place, but will fall behind Manchester United if our rivals win their game in hand.
Redknapp says this was entirely predictable, as we simply don’t have the players to compete and that Klopp’s tactics are vastly overrated.
“The way you play against them is so basic,” he began.
“The manager of a team over at Hackney Marshes would say the same thing, “Go steaming into ’em, lads”. It’s nothing clever. That’s exactly what Leicester did.
“Mane was on the end of a bad tackle in the first five minutes and that was him done for the night. You could almost see him say, “I don’t fancy this today”. He disappeared for the rest of the game.
“Lucas played as a centre-back against Leicester and it just isn’t his position. He’s got no pace, is too small and he got slaughtered by Jamie Vardy. Joel Matip alongside him isn’t up to it and both goalkeepers make too many errors.
“I’ve said all along: they will finish about sixth. I had a bet on BT Sport with Steven Gerrard and Steve McManaman they won’t be in the top four come May, with the loser donating £500 to charity. I still think my money’s safe. They are miles away from challenging for the title.
“Klopp will be feeling the heat but people got carried away with him right from the beginning. After his first game away at Tottenham in October 2015, everyone said, “Look at the difference in the work rate, look at how they press the ball” like it was the first time anyone had ever told a group of players to run about. He’d only been there a few days, so what could he really change?”
Redknapp’s words are damning and incredibly reactionary, but there’s a few elements we struggle to disagree with.
Setting up to beat Liverpool is easy. You defend deep, tackle aggressively and play on the break. It’s worked for average sides all season long and is likely to cost us a spot in the Champions League.
In all likelihood, we’ll shine against Arsenal, then flop against Burnley the following weekend. It’s a very frustrating cycle, but only the management and players can stop it.