Liverpool legend Ray Clemence has provided some full and frank comments about his former club and what they need to do if they’re to close the gap on the champions Manchester City going forward.
Despite winning the Champions League and finishing just a point behind the champions, with the third highest points tally in Premier League history, the 70-year-old former goalkeeper believes the Reds need to spend more money if they’re to overtake City.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Clemence gave a wide-ranging interview in which he gave his opinions on Liverpool’s recent achievements and their ambitions going forward.
“The thing is – and Liverpool and Klopp will know this better than anyone – you’ve got to keep trying to get better,” he said.
“What they did last year was great, but they still finished second and I’m sure City will be looking to improve. For Liverpool to keep up, they need to make purchases as well. They have to go up another level because of the way City play.”
Liverpool have been relatively quiet in the transfer market so far this summer, with only the future prospect Sepp van den Berg brought in so far. The 17-year-old defender was signed from Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle for a modest sum of just £1.3million, but they managed to beat Bayern to his signature.
Manchester City, meanwhile, have yet to do anything but are widely expected to secure the Fernandinho heir that Pep Guardiola has been targetting for over a year, having missed out on Jorginho to Chelsea and Fred to Manchester United last summer.
The signing of Atletico Madrid’s Rodri is reportedly imminent.
“They got 97 points, lost one game all season and came second,” Clemence added.
“That’s just incredible and it’s why I’m delighted they won the Champions League. To have won nothing would have been unbelievable.”
Clemence won five league titles and three European Cups while playing between the sticks at Liverpool, making over 600 appearances for the club.
He worked in the England senior coaching set-up under Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan, Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello. He’s now the head of the FA Development Team, overseeing the development made by players in the national youth teams from under-16 to 21 level.
“For the football club – and Jurgen – the longer it went on without winning anything, despite playing so well, the pressure would have got more and more and more,” he continued.
“Klopp was allowed four years, which a lot of managers wouldn’t have been given if they didn’t win something. He was allowed that time because the board and fans realised what he was trying to do.
“Now they’ve got the monkey off their back, they’ve won something. I know myself that doesn’t mean it becomes easier the following year. Because you’ve won something, other clubs are even more determined to try and beat you. But at least you know you can do it now – and you know how you did it.”