'Judge Klopp only after January'

Jari Litmanen (left) and Steve McManaman feel that the current Liverpool team lack creativity. The Reds, 10th in the Premier League, are the lowest-scoring side in the top 10, with just 13 goals from 12 games.
Jari Litmanen (left) and Steve McManaman feel that the current Liverpool team lack creativity. The Reds, 10th in the Premier League, are the lowest-scoring side in the top 10, with just 13 goals from 12 games.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

McManaman, Litmanen say new manager can use transfer window to rebuild Reds

In the month since Juergen Klopp took charge of Liverpool, the German had raised hope among the Reds fans, had every quote dissected by the media and inspired a line of merchandise in the club's store.

But former Liverpool attacking midfielders Steve McManaman and Jari Litmanen believe that the German should be judged after the January football transfer window.

Speaking to The Straits Times during Standard Chartered's Legends Up Close client event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday evening, Litmanen said the new manager needs time to ring in the changes.

The Finn said: "It always takes time with a new manager.

"We'll see what difference Klopp will do and the first time that he can react will be in January.

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"He needs to see what he has in the squad. This is not his team yet."

Litmanen and McManaman are both in town for the Castlewood Group Battle of the Reds match which will see the Liverpool Masters compete against their Manchester United counterparts at the National Stadium this evening.

Klopp's starting run of six games unbeaten came to a halt following a 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace last weekend, with the German criticising home fans for leaving Anfield early.

A Scouser himself, McManaman offered a different viewpoint, saying: "For various reasons, people have to leave football matches, there's nothing you can do.

"It happens everywhere and it will always happen.

"It's just one of those things that you have to put up with."

McManaman and Litmanen may have dazzled the Kop during their careers but they agreed that the current Liverpool team are sorely bereft of an attacking spark.

The Englishman said: "They need to be a bit more creative.

"Right now, they're very narrow.

"I think they need to make more and better chances."

Liverpool, 10th in the English Premier League, are the lowest-scoring side in the top 10.

They have scored just 13 goals from 12 games.

However, Klopp breathes attacking football, as seen from his previous track record at Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund.

While Litmanen believes the new boss brings "something new" to the Reds, he said the team will have to sign players who are a good fit.

Litmanen said: "It's about the right players. Liverpool have bought a lot of players in the past 10 to 15 years and, unfortunately, most of them are not at the level that is expected of them.

"At the moment, they don't really have big players.

"A couple of years ago, it was (Luis) Suarez scoring a lot of goals and (Daniel) Sturridge was doing fantastic; there was still the experience of Steven Gerrard.

"They are missing something for sure; something special."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2015, with the headline ''JUDGE KLOPP ONLY AFTER JANUARY''. Print Edition | Subscribe