Premier League • England

Jamie Carragher fears the end of Klopp at Liverpool as Roy Keane mounts shock defence by naming another ‘big’ issue

Trent Kone-Doherty signs for Liverpool. manager Jurgen Klopp, seen here during the FA Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at the City Ground

The decline of Liverpool this season has caused a big divide among pundits Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane with the two men both offering alternative reasons behind the club’s fall from grace.

The Reds have enjoyed one of the most successful periods in their illustrious history under Jurgen Klopp. Under his charge, they have reached four European finals, winning the Champions League in 2019, and ended their 30-year wait to be English champions in 2020.

And their success almost hit new heights last season when they fell a few games short of winning an unprecedented quadruple.

However, this season the club has badly fallen back on those lofty heights. They quickly relinquished their grip on the Carabao and FA Cups and were badly outclassed by Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16.

Furthermore, their Premier League form has also fallen off a cliff too. In the six full seasons Klopp has been at the helm, they have never finished lower than fourth. Currently they sit eighth and are in serious danger of missing out on a return to the Champions League.

There has, though, been signs of life in their season. Having fallen 2-0 down at home to title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday, Liverpool fought back to draw 2-2. However, after two miracle saves from Aaron Ramsdale late on, they can count themselves unlucky not to win. That was certainly the view of Klopp after the final whistle.

However, Klopp has also been honest about the club’s struggles this season too.

He insists though that any failure of his side falls on his shoulders rather than his players.

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Carragher feels Klopp era at Liverpool may soon end

And while Carragher insists that is admirable of him to do so, he admits he fears Liverpool could be coming towards the end of the Klopp cycle.

Pointing to a similar situation at Klopp’s previous club Borussia Dortmund, Carragher feels Klopp must take the blame for their decline this season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “When you talk about the age [of the players], what you’ve got to remember is that it’s the intensity that they played with for five or six years. There’s almost like a shelf life if you’re in a Jurgen Klopp team. How long you can keep doing that and play in the way Liverpool play?

“Yes, they keep possession, but it’s not Manchester City where they’re strolling around with the ball.

“You almost have to question that style and the longevity of it. Something similar happened at Borussia Dortmund where after five or six years Borussia Dortmund actually found themselves bottom of the league in the first half of that season then got themselves back from that.”

Keane and Neville insist Liverpool players must take blame

His fellow pundit Keane, however, disagrees. After pulling no punches on Andy Robertson’s clash with the linesman, calling the Scot ‘a big baby’, he also turned the heat on the rest of the players.

“These players are letting that manager down, big style. To be eighth in the table, nowhere near good enough for a club like Liverpool.”

Gary Neville also believes the issue lies entirely with their big-name stars who have let their standards slip.

“That’s admirable of him to stand up and say that as a manager,” Neville began. “It’s what you’d want your manager to say…

“But I have to say, he must be looking at some of the things he’s seeing out there on the pitch and thinking what the hell are they doing?

“Some of it is the basics. I cannot believe some of the things I’m watching from some of the players. This is nothing to do with the coaching, nothing to do with Jurgen Klopp, he’s a great coach. He’s a great manager and he’s got brilliant performances out of Liverpool for the last five or six years.”

Liverpool have a great chance to get their Premier League form back on track with back-to-back games against struggling sides.

Next Monday they travel to Leeds, whom already recorded a 2-1 win at Anfield this season. Leeds, though, were beaten 5-1 at home by Crystal Palace on Sunday to give Klopp’s side hope of leaving Elland Road with a win.

After that, they host another struggler in Nottingham Forest, who have also beaten the Reds 1-0 this season.

Liverpool know a six-point haul can go some way to getting their top-four hunt firmly back on track at a crucial phase of the season.

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