Manchester United legend Roy Keane claims Liverpool have been ‘bad champions’ this season.
The Reds saw their title chances dissipate with a 4-1 loss to league leaders Manchester City on Sunday, leaving them 10 points behind Pep Guardiola‘s side.
And Keane believes Jurgen Klopp has provided a litany of excuses for Liverpool‘s travails this season, adding that the club could wait another 30 years for a Premier League title if they don’t change their attitude.
“We spoke before the game about that they are making a lot of excuses, but to me, they’ve been bad champions,” Keane said.
“I don’t mean today, you can lose a game of football, but I can’t figure this group out. Even in the game against Brighton, Brighton were comfortable against them, you can be beaten in a game but there’s a way to be beaten.
“I don’t see that, I think we’ve all believed the hype over the last year or two. We spoke about there being some sort of drop off, but they’re playing for Liverpool.
“It’s as if they won the league last year and got a bit carried away, and all believed their own hype that they were going to beat teams. But in my mindset when you’ve won a league title, the next challenge was always, can we do it again?
“I never got the impression from this group, from their interviews, even from their manager last year when they won it, saying what’s the next step for Liverpool – it was almost let’s enjoy this, obviously, it was a long wait for them but I never heard any of the players come out and say: ‘We want to do it again’.
“That’s the key. They’re now talking about wanting to get in the top four from winning the league last year to all of a sudden finishing in the top four is where their targets are. I think they’ve been bad champions. We’re talking about Liverpool, people keep telling me Liverpool are a great club and a huge club.
“If they’re a huge club then you have to take setbacks, is that not part of the game? If everyone had all their players fit all of the time, it would be fantastic.
“If you want to look at Man City – with the run they’ve been on – you could see they’re missing two of their best players and Liverpool are a strong team, I know they’re missing their two centre-backs but they’ve still got their best-attacking players on the pitch.
“They still have their best goalkeeper available, they’ve still got international players in midfield and after the game, I think Klopp said there, ‘Maybe the goalkeeper’s feet were cold’. That’s a new one. I know it’s tongue in cheek a little bit, but it is excuses after excuses.
“He said the other day that Man City had a break because of the virus when their game was called off, I think they had two days off training, it just goes on and on and on. You want a reaction from Liverpool‘s performance against Brighton, it was really poor, a few weeks ago against Burnley, or go to Man United in the FA Cup, they conceded three, or earlier in the season, it was seven against Aston Villa.
“That was with van Dijk against Villa. You could say this is a one-off, it’s a freak season, it’s with corona, just get on with it. Perform like champions, you’re Liverpool Football Club. If you keep performing like that, it’s going to be another 30 years until you win the title, trust me.”