Roy Keane called Liverpool ‘bad champions’ and predicted another 30 year wait, now Reds can hand Manchester City the title… by beating Man United
Liverpool find themselves between a rock and a hard place on Sunday as victory over Manchester United will mean handing over their title to Manchester City.
But, in truth, Liverpool’s hopes of hanging onto the Premier League crown vanished long ago.
In fact, the top four might even be out of their reach if they fail to get a result against United.
Sealing the deal for City, while competing in an entirely different zip code of the league, would emphasise Roy Keane’s point: they’ve been bad champions.
Although, the Red Devils legend would probably rather Liverpool didn’t beat his beloved United to prove him right.
Back in February, when Liverpool lost 4-1 to City, opening up a ten-point gap which has since become 23, Keane launched an extraordinary rant about their title defence.
The Reds have been hit with numerous injuries, including talismanic defender Virgil van Dijk among others, but the Irishman wasn’t having any of their excuses.
He even predicted another 30-year wait for their next title.
“We spoke before the game – they are making a lot of excuses. To me they’ve been bad champions,” he fumed.
“You can lose a game of football but…I can’t figure this group out. Looking at them, even during the week Brighton were comfortable, you can get beaten in a game – there’s a way to be beaten. But I don’t see that.
“I think maybe they believe the hype over the last year or two. We spoke about there would be some sort of drop off but they’re playing for a big team in Liverpool. Almost if they won the league last year and got a bit carried away, believe their own hype they’re going to beat teams.
“In my mindset, when you’ve won a league title your next challenge is ‘can we do it again’. I never got the impression from this squad/group, from their interviews, even from the manager last year when they won it, were they saying ‘what’s the next step for Liverpool?’. No. Almost let’s enjoy this.
“Obviously it was a long wait, 30 years, but I never heard any of the players come out and say ‘I want to do it again’. That’s the key.
“Now they’re talking about trying to get in the top four…from winning the league last year. The top four is now where our targets are?
“They’re a huge club. They have to deal with setbacks. Is that not part of the game. If players were fit the whole time it would be fantastic.
“You could look at Man City and say they’re missing their two best players. They’ve come to Liverpool – who have a strong team, I know the two centre halves are missing but they still had their best attacking players on the pitch, still had their best goalkeeper available, they still have international players available. And after the game I think Klopp said the keeper’s feet were cold.
“That’s a new one. I know it’s tongue-in-cheek a little but it’s excuses after excuses. Klopp said earlier City had a break because of the virus, missed two days training. It just goes on and on and on.
“You want a reaction from Liverpool’s performance against Brighton. You go to United in the FA Cup, they shipped seven earlier in the season to Villa. With Van Dijk.
“You could say it’s a one off, a freak season, it’s Corona. Just get on with it. Perform like champions.
“You’re Liverpool Football Club. Keep performing like that and it will be another 30 years before they win the league.”