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Carragher identifies Klopp’s major disadvantage compared to Ferguson

Jamie Carragher has identified the disadvantage Jurgen Klopp has in trying to dominate English football the way Sir Alex Ferguson did.

Klopp is the man tasked with restoring Liverpool to the “perch” they were famously knocked off by legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

That was partially achieved last season when the Reds ended their 30-year wait for a 19th top-flight title – having triumphed in the Champions League the previous campaign.

But it could be argued that Liverpool won’t complete their journey back to the top of English football until they pass United on 20 league crowns and establish the kind of dominance the Red Devils enjoyed for two decades under Ferguson.

It looked as though that was the direction Klopp’s side were headed in when they rampaged to the title by 18 points last term.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are 10 points behind Man City, who have a game in hand

But cracks are appearing in their title defence this season, with Liverpool 10 points off the pace after their defeat to leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

Klopp’s side have also suffered with a crippling injury crisis, have lost two more games than during the whole of last season, and saw their incredible 68-game unbeaten Anfield league run ended by Brighton last week.

And Carragher says Liverpool are suffering because they don’t have the strength in depth enjoyed by Ferguson’s great United sides or Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal teams – meaning they have become too reliant on the same group of players.

“Liverpool haven’t got the squad and quality of back-ups of other clubs,” said Carragher, speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football .

Jamie Carragher says Liverpool have become over-reliant on the same group of players

“Liverpool wouldn’t have won the trophies they have done over the last two or three years if they would have rotated.

“When Liverpool won the title last year, the first game of the season was Friday Night Football, Liverpool at home against Norwich.

“Sadio Mane had been in a tournament and had 10 days off – that was it – and then he was on the bench against Norwich.

“Now Ferguson used to give the United lads one month off, so did [Arsene] Wenger. Twenty-eight days before you come back.”

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane of Manchester United share a joke during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on November 30, 2004 in Manchester
Sir Alex Ferguson had the luxury of being able to rotate players

Carragher says Liverpool knew they didn’t have the luxury of rotating players last season – having finished second the previous campaign despite just one defeat all season.

And the season before that, City had won the league with a record 100 points, having lost just twice themselves all term.

“Liverpool couldn’t afford it [to rotate players] because Man City were that good for the two years, obviously getting 100 points,” said the former Reds defender.

“Liverpool knew they couldn’t lose a game. They had to go into that season thinking they had to win every game. We will see next season whether this is something permanent.”

Liverpool stars like Sadio Mane have had to play week in, week out

To illustrate Carragher’s point, of Liverpool’s starting line-up against City on Sunday, there were nine players who also started their Champions League final win over Tottenham in 2019.

The other two starters from that game in Madrid were Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip – both currently injured long-term.

To stretch the point even further, seven of Sunday’s starting line-up even kicked off the 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Carragher believes Liverpool will return to the levels seen last season, but feels they need three new signings – who must be players good enough to come straight into the team, rather than back-up options.

Klopp needs a new signing to succeed Wijnaldum in the Reds engine room

“I’m convinced they’ll be back,” he said. “I still think they need three players.

“They need that centre-back – maybe he’s joined now in Kabak – they need someone to replace Wijnaldum and they need someone in the front three.

“And I’m not talking about players on the bench. I’m talking about players that come into the team like Matip, Wijnaldum and Mane did – and like Salah, Van Dijk and Alisson did.”




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