Premier League • England

Gary Neville laughing as he drops massive Man Utd, Klopp admission ahead of exit and rates Liverpool title chances

Gary Neville has rated Liverpool title chances under Jurgen Klopp

Gary Neville has rated Liverpool title chances under Jurgen Klopp

Gary Neville has suggested the departure of Jurgen Klopp could set Liverpool back years after revealing his delight at seeing him leave Anfield and having also rated their title prospects this season and with Jamie Carragher naming his favourites.

The Merseysiders are now in the emotional final months of the Klopp era on Merseyside after news of his departure at the end of the season and following close to nine glorious years at the helm was made public in January. Having won seven major honours in that time, the 56-year-old will depart Liverpool as one of the greatest and most charismatic managers in their illustrious history.

That roll call of trophies could look significantly better by the time Klopp does take his final bow on Merseyside with the Reds still very much alive in three other competitions this season, with hopes alive of glory in both the FA Cup – where a quarter-final against Manchester United lies ahead on Sunday – and in the Europa League, where they are as good as through to the last eight following a first lef round of 16 thumping of Sparta Prague 5-1.

The biggest prize of all, though, could come in the Premier League with the Reds handily placed in a three-way title battle alongside familar foes Manchester City and rival challengeres Arsenal.

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And having won the 2020 crown during the Covid year, Klopp would love nothing more than signing off with the second Premier League title of his era.

Im the meantime, Liverpool’s chances of success, together with how the exit of Klopp will affect them, have been analysed by Neville, who could not help but admit his delight at seeing him depart, such has been his success.

Gary Neville on how Klopp exit affects Liverpool

“If we just go back to the start of the season, look at what everybody said about Liverpool and what their chances were of winning the title this season,” Neville said on his podcast.

“The reason Liverpool are sat there in with a chance of winning the Premier League title is because of him [Klopp].

“Honestly, he has that capability to be able to drag that extra per cent, two per cent, three per cent that not many can, and that’s why he’s one of the great leaders.”

Behind the scenes, owners FSG are doing their utmost to land on a quality replacement for Klopp, with Xabi Alonso very much among the favourites, despite rival interest from Bayern Munich in the talented Bayer Leverkusen coach.

Neville also has explained why the exit of the German will leave a giant hole both in the club, its fans and the city as a whole.

“Klopp is a massive personality, a giant of a character and someone who connects not just with his players – that’s pretty obvious, and the staff within the club – but with the city, the language he uses, the tone, with the fans.

“And I think to me that’s what a great manager does. They do more than just play great football. They do more than just win football matches. They do more than win trophies. They impact people’s lives on a sort of daily basis, weekly basis. And I think Klopp does that for Liverpool.

“I think there are men and women and children in Liverpool, who go to school, who wake up in the morning, who go to work, and they think of the passion and the energy of Jurgen Klopp!”

Arsenal, Man City or Liverpool? Carragher names his title favourites

Comparing Klopp’s reign to a certain legendary Scot at Old Trafford, Neville added: “I think Sir Alex Ferguson had that ability to connect with the fans at Old Trafford, and to me, he’s a massive loss to Liverpool and he’s a massive loss to the Premier League, because there are very few like him, if any like him in world football at this moment in time.”

Laughing at his exit, he added: “I wish he was not the Liverpool manager and I can’t wait for him to leave from a selfish perspective because I know whilst he’s here, Liverpool stand a great chance of success!”

Meanwhile, Neville’s Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher has his say on the title race with just one point separating leaders Arsenal, second-placed Liverpool and Man City in third.

The Gunners are next in Premier League action when they travel to the Etihad on the final day of March in what will prove another decisive game.

Discussing the destiny of the Premier League trophy and reflecting on Sunday’s 1-1 draw between Liverpool and City, Carragher said: “If you’re Arsenal you would think a perfect result is a draw.

“I think Liverpool will be watching [Manchester City v Arsenal] and wanting a draw, from Liverpool or Arsenal’s point of view they are trying to chase down City.

“City are still the team to beat I would say.

“Even though Arsenal are top I would prefer to watch Arsenal win at Manchester City and certainly not a City win as City’s last five-to-six games of the season you will expect them to get maximum points.”

Liverpool’s next Premier League game sees them tackle Brighton at Anfield on the same afternoon.

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