Carragher identifies ‘telling’ decision that will see Liverpool avoid Man Utd, Arsenal ‘drop-off’

Joe Williams
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher during his role as a Sky Sports pundit.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher insists that the Reds will avoid a Man Utd and Arsenal-style “drop-off” following the departure of Jurgen Klopp.

Both the Red Devils and the Gunners experienced a number of years of underperformance when Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger left.

And now some former players, pundits and fans are expecting Liverpool to suffer a similar fate following Klopp’s decision to leave the Premier League club.

Arne Slot has arrived from Dutch side Feyenoord but he is unproven in the Premier League and there is a lot of uncertainty over how he will perform in his new role.

But Carragher thinks the return of Michael Edwards as FSG’s CEO of football and Richard Hughes’ arrival as sporting director will see Liverpool avoid a “drop-off”.

When asked if Slot could suffer a similar fate to David Moyes and Unai Emery, Carragher told The Metro: “I don’t think so. Manchester United went from first to seventh when Alex Ferguson left. Liverpool just finished third so I don’t think we are going to drop to 10th.

“I expect us to be competitive, as long as we have a good summer transfer window. We have people behind the scenes.

“I don’t think they had that structure at Man United when Ferguson left. It was the same with Wenger.

“They were old-fashioned football managers who ran everything and those days have gone.

“The reason those days are gone is because when a figure like that – or any manager in fact – moves on, you almost have to start again.

“I don’t think any manager wants that. I think the fact Arne Slot will be a head coach rather than a manager is pretty telling.

“I don’t see Liverpool having as big a drop-off as Man United and Arsenal. There might be a drop-off, because Jurgen Klopp is a great football manager, but I still expect Liverpool to compete for all honours including the Champions League.”

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Liverpool legend John Barnes insists it will be crucial for the Reds fans to get behind Slot from the off and stick with him through any early “teething problems”.

Barnes said last month: “I don’t think there are many holes in the Liverpool team that Slot will need to fix. If you look at the squad we have alongside the players coming back to full fitness, we can be very competitive next season.”

“Replacing Klopp is difficult but the tougher task will be getting the fans to believe in Slot. Getting the fans to trust and stick by him if he doesn’t win the first few games at the club.”

“It’ll be important for the fans to back Arne if there are a few teething problems early on. We’ve seen managers, Arteta included struggle early on but the fans stuck by him and look at Arsenal now. On the other hand look at what’s happened to Manchester United with previous managers or Chelsea with previous managers. Where the fans didn’t trust the manager and that filters onto the pitch.”

“In football today very good managers are undermined by their environment and lack of support. A team’s success is a collective responsibility between the club, the manager, the players, the staff and the fans.”