Kenny Dalglish says watching Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp makes him nervous – but has explained why the German must be kept on.
The Reds head into Saturday’s crunch with Manchester United with just one win in seven games and questions being asked about the German’s abilities to take Liverpool forward.
Two years into his reign on Merseyside, Klopp is still searching for the perfect balance between enterprise and defensive stability.
Some critics have likened the current Liverpool team to a Ferrari under the bonnet but a milk float in the boot – but Dalglish, who won the Double as player-manager at Anfield in 1986, is not inclined to be over-critical of his German successor’s approach.
“Would I swap Jurgen’s front three for United’s strikers or any other set of forwards in the Premier League? For me, it’s not a question of who’s best or matters of opinion,” Dalglish told the Daily Mirror.
“Going forward, Liverpool have been flying this year, while for United the boy Rashford looks a top talent and Romelu Lukaku has settled in remarkably well. Both teams have got something positive going for them up front, but I don’t go along with some comments about the keeper or back four.
“I think Simon Mignolet has been much maligned and harshly criticised for what he’s done at Liverpool.
“You can point to certain incidents and argue maybe be could have done better, but why does nobody go back to the penalty he saved at Arsenal on the first day of last season?
“He made the difference between one point and three — which ultimately got us in the Champions League.
“Nobody is flawless, but whether he is going to be at the club for the long term or short term, I would not be uncomfortable with him as my keeper.
“If you are committed to attack, attack, attack, it’s the guys at the back who will invariably suffer.
“Jurgen was appointed because of what he’d done at Dortmund, and the way he wants to play suited Liverpool’s DNA.
“Why does that change all of a sudden? If you play a more open, expansive game than anybody else, it’s going to put your defenders under pressure but it’s more entertaining and enjoyable to watch.
“If Jurgen would rather win games 3-2 than 1-0, I don’t have a problem with that, although it’s no good for your ticker so you wonder what it does to him!”