Michael Owen has taken a dig at Manchester United when discussing transfer business made by Liverpool over the past ten years.
The Red Devils have been criticised for their transfer business since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 with Man Utd failing to hit the heights experienced under the legendary Scottish manager.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have been hailed for their business under former sporting director Michael Edwards during Jurgen Klopp’s time at the club.
Man Utd were criticised for much of the latest summer transfer window over their seemingly reactive approach to the market.
They were heavily criticised over their attempt to sign Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic but decided to pull out after facing a fan backlash to the signing.
Their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong – who made it clear he wanted to stay at Barcelona – was also criticised with Man Utd turning to Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot before eventually signing 30-year-old Casemiro from Real Madrid in a deal worth £70m.
Liverpool beat Ajax last night in a 2-1 victory in the Champions League but before the match Owen looked back on their 4-1 defeat against Napoli.
Owen said on BT Sport: “It’s very rare that five players play well and five players stink the place out, you normally play well as a team and poorly as a team – it affects everybody.
“When there’s no pressing from the front, all of a sudden the defence looks vulnerable then they make mistakes, it’s a chain reaction.
“Liverpool over the years, no matter who they’ve signed, have been world beaters, then teams like Manchester United over the last 10 years no matter who they’ve signed look like they’ve never played football before.
“But what I’m trying to say is it’s very easy to bring a player into the team or for all the players to play well at the same time. It is a team game.
“We’ve seen that with Liverpool, they either play well or flounder like they did the other night [against Napoli].”
Comparing the performance in their win over Ajax and their loss to Napoli, speaking on Tuesday night, Klopp said: “I think if we put the two games, Napoli and tonight, next to each other, you don’t recognise properly that it’s the same sport.
“It was all different. The start was different. The middle was different. The finish was different. The way we played, the way we defend, everything was different. Much higher intensity, much more aggression, braver, more ready, everything was better.
“The story of the game is typical, not for our season so far because normally we are 1-0 down, more for the situation we are in.
“We did a lot of good stuff and played a really good game, we had something like 25 shots, which is good against a strong side full of confidence, absolutely convinced about the way they play, and we caused them a lot of problems.
“And then, 1-0 up, you concede with the first chance of the opponent the equaliser. The reaction was OK – not perfect but OK – and at half-time we told the boys that after the goal our pressing was not as convincing as before.
“I think nobody was surprised it was a set-piece (for the winner) because our set-pieces were really good tonight and I have no idea why we didn’t score earlier from them because pretty much each set-piece was a threat.
“The face of Joel showed exactly how we all felt in this moment. It’s the first step, nothing else, not more.”
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