Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during training at the AXA Training Centre, Liverpool October 11, 2022. — Reuters pic
GLASGOW, Oct 12 — Jurgen Klopp has hit back at former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann’s claim that his old club need a “spark” ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Rangers.
Hamann, a Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005, was critical of Klopp’s side after their 3-2 defeat at Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.
Liverpool have won just two of their eight Premier League games this term and trail 14 points behind Arsenal.
But Klopp was frustrated by his fellow German’s assessment of Liverpool’s predicament as he prepared for the crucial meeting with Rangers in Glasgow.
“Oh great, he is a fantastic source. Well respected everywhere. Being a former Liverpool player doesn’t give you the right to say what you want, especially when you have no idea,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday.
“I actually think Didi Hamann doesn’t deserve that you use his phrase when asking a question. Do me a favour and ask your own question. Try to ask the question without the word ‘spark’.”
Klopp believes the damaging defeat at Arsenal was hard on his team, not least because Arsenal’s winner came from a controversial penalty Arsenal awarded for a challenge by Thiago Alcantara on Gabriel Jesus.
Liverpool also lost Luis Diaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip to injuries at the Emirates Stadium.
Despite their worst start to a season for 10 years, Klopp is convinced Liverpool can climb out of trouble.
“We have to keep fighting. It will not happen overnight. I know people don’t want to hear that,” he said.
“We don’t play our absolute best football, I saw that, but we played against a team in form in the league that are first in the table. But we lost it in the way we lost it.
“What do we miss in this game? The right ref decisions would have been helpful and then we can judge the game.
“If we win that game, for the outside world our problems are completely sorted. We know it is not like that. Now we lost the game and three players but the only thing we can do is keep fighting and that is what we will do.”
Liverpool beat Rangers 2-0 at Anfield last week, but a loss to the Scottish club would put their progress to the last 16 back in danger.
“We fought against Arsenal really hard and that is what we will do against Rangers because we have to,” Klopp said.
“Rangers want to put things right and get points in the Champions League group.
“They tried it with a defensive approach and five at the back and now they want to attack and go for it in a great atmosphere. I am really excited to experience that.
“It is a tough game in a different competition and that is what we have to do.” — AFP