Liverpool are in desperate need of a “reality check” if they are ever to match their success of the past, according to former midfielder Dietmar Hamann.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won only one match match in 2017 – an FA Cup replay against Plymouth Argyle – and are without a victory in their last five Premier League matches.
Liverpool started the campaign in impressive fashion but their desperate run of form has seen them knocked out of both domestic cup competitions and drop out of the top four.
And Hamann, who won the Champions League and two FA Cups in a hugely successful spell at Anfield, has slammed the club as a whole for believing the hype around the team.
“The biggest problem is what people within the club – including the players – perceive Liverpool to be and where they actually are,” he told Paddy Power’s football blog.
“There’s a huge gap between that perception and reality. Klopp has to fight to change the mentality – not only in the team, but in the whole club. Everyone needs to work 100 per cent harder to get Liverpool back to where they were.
“Part of the problem is the club creates so much interest all over the world, people still seem to think that they’re still one of the driving forces in Europe – which they’re not.
“The reason the club still attracts interest is because the guys in the 1970s and 1980s were unbeatable. That’s got nothing to do with the current crop of players and that’s not what has happened in the last eight to 10 years. If you look at the facts of that period it’s been pretty dire.
“The club needs a reality check on whether everything that’s being done is as it should be.
54 – Jürgen Klopp has an identical record to Brendan Rodgers in his opening 54 Premier League games as Liverpool boss (W26 D16 L12). Mirror. pic.twitter.com/Fdv6ENloUV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 7, 2017
“I’m not saying the owners didn’t back Jurgen Klopp because he was given some money to spend, but the mindset within the entire club needs to change. That filters down to the team. They’ve put in some fantastic performances away to Arsenal and Chelsea, but then they get beat by Hull, Burnley and Wolves.
“Sometimes the club and the team believe their own hype. You’ve got to be consistent. It doesn’t matter whether you go 10 or 20 games without losing. If Liverpool don’t finish in the top four and have no trophy to show at the end of the season – it’s a disappointment. End of.
“Before Christmas a lot of people had them down as one of the Premier League favourites. It’s hard to explain the bad run that’s followed. You can lose games of course – most teams have dips in a season – but to have such a period of disappointing results is unacceptable.
“Complacency is the biggest issue the club faces at the moment. People believe ‘we are Liverpool, we are going to be alright’. No, they’re not alright because a lot of people within the club think that if you give the manager a four-year extension it gives off the perception that things are great, when they’re not.
“The manager needs to look hard at the team, but there needs to be a thought process throughout the whole club if they want to maximise what’s possible with the players that they’ve got.”
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