Joey Barton claims Jurgen Klopp is overhyped, overrated and does not deserved to be labelled as a ‘super coach’.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s opening game of the Premier League season at Watford – LIVE on talkSPORT – the outspoken star launched a scathing attack on the German and his tactics.
And he believes it could be a tough season for the Reds without Philippe Coutinho, who he fully expects to leave for Barcelona this summer.
Barton, who is part of talkSPORT’s Matchday Live team for 2017/18, said of the popular Klopp: “He is not trophy-laden like Mourinho or Guardiola, so we have to be sceptical of him.
“He has gone in with all this charisma and seems a down to earth, nice guy, but I always worry when I see him prancing up and down the touchline. He is like a giant German cheerleader for them!
“To be a top manager, you have got to have more than that. He has got a terrible record in finals.
“I’m not buying the Klopp aura and that he is this super coach. His career doesn’t point that way.
“He has got one league title, one cup, in 2011/12. His Dortmund career ended in a hole in the ground. He lost the players, he lost the dressing room. They were fighting relegation.
“He had a great season last season against the top seven – phenomenal – but where you step up and win the Premier League is against the bottom 13. Against the bottom 13, he lost six games. Why? Because teams sit in and say ‘we are not going to chase you down, harass you, you can have the ball in a certain area of the park and we are going to sit back and counter you’, which is what Liverpool have done.
“The ego of the big teams is they say ‘we have to play against Liverpool and take you on’ and that leaves you vulnerable to Liverpool’s strengths. The opposite position of that is the teams who say ‘actually, you can have the ball, we are not interested’ and Liverpool have found that a problem. Are they going to find that more of a problem without Coutinho, a magician who can unlock defences? I would say so.
“Liverpool’s game plan will be high-intensity, high-distance running, because that is what they did last season and that is what they have done in pre-season.
“The players he has brought – Salah, Mane – they are players to get in behind defences. If you take that space away and sit deep, it doesn’t matter how quick Salah is and how quick Mane is, that is when you need a Coutinho.
“They are not going to have a Coutinho this season. I think it is only a matter of time before he leaves, contrary to what Liverpool people think.”
Source : TalkSport