Roy Keane’s criticism of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as ‘bad champions’ blasted by Dietmer Hamman

Dietmar Hamann blasts Roy Keane’s ‘completely exaggerated’ criticism of Liverpool after Manchester United legend called them ‘bad champions’… but former Reds midfielder insists Jurgen Klopp has laid ‘the foundation for lasting success’ at Anfield

  • Dietmar Hamann has defended Liverpool following Roy Keane’s recent criticism
  • After losing 4-1 at home to Manchester City on February 7, Keane slammed them
  • The former Manchester United captain labelled the Reds as ‘bad champions’
  • Hamann believes there are mitigating factors for their decline such as injuries

Former Liverpool midfield Dietmar Hamann has hit out at Roy Keane for lambasting the club during their down period.

The Reds’ Premier League title defence is grinding to a halt as they sit 13 points table-toppers Manchester City, having played a game more too.

Following their 4-1 defeat at home by City on February 7, Keane slammed Jurgen Klopp’s side as ‘bad champions’.

Keane has been critical of the defending Premier League champions

Dietmar Hamann (left) has slammed Roy Keane over his recent assessment of Liverpool

Keane called Liverpool 'bad champions' after their 4-1 loss to Manchester City on February 7

Keane called Liverpool ‘bad champions’ after their 4-1 loss to Manchester City on February 7

However, Hamann has leapt to the defence of his former side – taking aim at his old Manchester United midfield adversary instead.

Hamann, who played for Liverpool between 1999-2006, believes their crippling injury problems at centre back is one of a plethora things that have impacted the club this season and this will be a one-off.

‘Keane’s criticism is completely exaggerated. The problems can be explained,’ he told Sportbuzzer. 

‘Not only is [Virgil] van Dijk missing, but Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are also. If the entire central defence isn’t there, even Liverpool can’t do anything.

‘Thiago should pull the strings, but he still seems like a foreign body to me.

‘Then there is the short break, the hassle of games. Freshness, dominance and impact are missing.

‘In their heyday, they stole the air from opponents to breathe. Right now, they have to work very hard for every win, but I’m not really concerned about Liverpool.

‘Klopp has achieved great things. The foundation for lasting success is in place’.

Following their 4-1 mauling by City, Liverpool were 27 points worse off than last season in what is the most severe decline by any Premier League champions in history. 

And Keane didn’t hold back on his thoughts post-match as he claimed the Reds became too complacent after winning their first title in 30 years last term.

He told Sky Sports: ‘We spoke before the game about them making a lot of excuses, to me they’ve been bad champions.

‘We spoke about some sort of drop off (this season), they won the league last year and they believed their own hype and thought “we could beat other teams”. 

‘When you win the title, you think, “can we get it again?” I never thought that from this group. They went, “Let’s enjoy this.” I never heard any of the players saying “Let’s do it again.” Now we’re talking about the top four and it being their target.’