By Coral Barry
Stan Collymore believes Jurgen Klopp has to start winning trophies this season or is in danger of seeing Everton overtake Liverpool.
The former Liverpool striker believes that while new Everton manager Ronald Koeman has very little pressure on him this season, Klopp should be judged harshly if the Reds fail to finish higher than seventh and do not win any silverware.
Collymore does not think Klopp’s current side are good enough to challenge for the top four and insisted he sees Everton and Liverpool fighting it out for the same league position this campaign.
“I look at the Liverpool squad, in terms of its strength, depth and ability, and I see one which, realistically, will only challenge for fifth, sixth or seventh as well, and that makes me wonder how that would sit with Koppites,” Collymore wrote in his Mirror column.
“Would they feel there had been any more progress under Klopp than there was under Brendan Rogers? Arguably not.
“Don’t get me wrong, Liverpool or Everton defying the odds and finishing in the top four this season isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, but, on paper, fifth to seventh is where you would expect them to be.”
Collymore went on to suggest Klopp is under pressure to deliver this season after he was given a six-year contract by the club in the summer.
“The way I see it, at a club of Liverpool’s size you have to start winning trophies in years two and three if you are a decent manager,” he said.
“You could legitimately look at Klopp and start to ask a few questions [if Liverpool finish seventh].
“A lot of people would say, ‘He’s being paid a lot of money, he has been given a long-term contract, he has been given a lot of faith to bring in the type of players he wants to bring in, yes, he was the smiley gegenpresser in Germany, but can he cut it in England?’
“And one or two will wonder if the ‘In Klopp We Trust’ mantra might just start to abate a little.”
Liverpool are currently in America continuing their pre-season preparations with Klopp hoping to bed in his new signings such as Sadio Mane and Joel Matip as quickly as possible.
Everton on the other hand have yet to make a major signing under Koeman, but are expected to lose either Romelu Lukaku or John Stones, possibly both, this summer.
In other Liverpool news, Klopp has handed down his verdict on this youngster’s future at Anfield.