The mood around Liverpool has shifted dramatically in recent weeks as their Premier League title challenge has crashed and burned.
Without a league win in five games, Jürgen Klopp’s side will lose their place in the top four if Manchester City beat Swansea, and Chelsea’s thirteen point gap means that any talk of ending the 27-year wait to lift that trophy can now be taken off the table.
The latest low point came on Saturday as Liverpool fell to a 2-0 defeat to Hull City, their second defeat to a relegation-threatened side in a fortnight. It was enough to leave Jamie Carragher fuming as the former vice-captain let rip at goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, as well as questioning the use of James Milner and Lucas Leiva in defence.
Carragher’s former teammate Didi Hamann has now chimed in with his opinion, which is largely the same as the Sky Sports pundit, while also challenging the merit in handing Klopp himself a six-year contract last summer.
Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day Extra programme, Hamann said:
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) February 5, 2017
“If you look at the facts, I think Jurgen Klopp came in and changed the perception in the city and the football club, he gave the players and the fans a bit more common sense, because in Liverpool people are either ecstatic because things are going well or almost suicidal because things are not going well.
I think he had an impact and improved some players, but if you look at the pure facts in the summer, I don’t think the points average improved dramatically from Brendan Rodgers, you get to two finals, lost two finals that could have been won and you end up thinking with your heart instead of your head and extend his contract by four years.”
Hamann was critical of Liverpool’s business in the transfer market, particularly Klopp’s failure to sign a specialist left-back to replace Alberto Moreno and instead persist with Milner, as well as the goalkeeper situation:
“If you don’t fancy the left-back, you have to bring in a left-back n the summer. Gomez was injured, Milner plays there, Milner is great team player, great to have around the place but you can’t play with Milner all the time at left-back.
“The new goalkeeper [Loris Karius] was brought in, he hasn’t really functioned well so Mignolet’s back in.
“My biggest worry for Liverpool is I think they’re too weak, too soft in midfield. I think they need a holding midfielder.”
Liverpool host Tottenham at Anfield next weekend, by which time they will in all likelihood be outside the top four looking in.