Glen Johnson anticipates a serious discussion between Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s board if the Reds finish outside the top four come the end of the season.
In a season where top spot of the Premier League seems to change hands every other week, Liverpool have struggled to display the kind of dominance they showed last season.
Jurgen Klopp has played down concern from supporters and the German isn’t under any legitimate pressure but former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson expects Klopp to be called in for a “serious chat” if the Reds drop below fourth after winning the league last term.
“I don’t think Liverpool will have enough to win the league this year, but I expect them to get the top four – but it will be tough. There are six clubs fighting for the top four again,” Johnson told CheltenhamGuides.com.
“It will be super harsh for Klopp to be under any pressure given the success that he’s had, but we know that owners, once they get success, they want to keep repeating it so I think there would be a discussion to have if he did finish outside the top four.
“I think it would be extremely harsh in terms of where he’s brought the club in the last few years. I don’t think he would be sacked. I think they would have a serious chat about it.”
Johnson, who played 200 games from Liverpool, is of the opinion that his former club was naive not to explore loan options in order to address the defensive problem that has caused quite a few headaches for Klopp in recent months.
The ex-England international has suggested that the Reds asked for too much from young centre-halves, who were never going to be able to replace the injured Virgil van Dijk.
Johnson said: “I think they were naive in not getting someone in on loan because the kids – who will hopefully go on to be some fantastic players – are being asked to fill the shoes of Van Dijk and that’s not easy for anybody.
“It’s not as simple as buying a 50, 60, 70 million pound defender that is going to compete. The only options they had was to work with the youngsters or get somebody else in on loan and they opted to go with the youngsters and some have been great and some don’t look like they’re ready.”