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Darren Lewis: Bang average? Harry’s harsh words may see Liverpool reignite their season

03 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis: Bang average? Harry’s harsh words may see Liverpool reignite their season

The Daily Mirror sports writer believes Harry Redknapp's recent criticism could provoke the Reds into showing exactly what they're made of

The timing was curious, the ferocity eye-catching.

And it is quite something for someone still looking to get back into the game to launch as stern an attack as the one Harry Redknapp made on Liverpool.

Bang average he called them.

Even though several of the Reds players would easily make any of the teams managed by the former QPR boss over the last ten years – including the Spurs team that reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Coutinho would walk in. So would Christian Benteke. And Redknapp would take a fit Daniel Sturridge all day long.

England right-back Nathaniel Clyne? Average? Not really.

Germany Under-21 midfielder Emre Can is a fine player in the right position while Jordan Henderson continues to change the opinions of the people that don’t rate him.

For an average side, Liverpool didn’t half rip Arsenal apart at times during the first half at the Emirates last Monday night.

That doesn’t mean Redknapp isn’t right to highlight the deficiencies in Rodgers’ team.

Their defence still looks suspect.

Dejan Lovren appears to be a player who was made to look better than he actually is by the protection afforded to him by Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin at Southampton.

And Redknapp is right: Joe Gomez is a centre-half playing at left-back.

But the youngster has immense promise and one bad display against West Ham doesn’t render his previous performances an irrelevance.

It is not hard to get stuck into a side taken apart 3-0 at home by West Ham – who themselves had been beaten in their previous two games by Leicester and Bournemouth.

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But Rodgers, a man sought out by Redknapp to become his assistant when he believed he would get the England job, will be bemused as to the manner in which ‘Arry laid into his team.

It is also stretching things to suggest that Liverpool are lucky to have a point.

Even the very best teams in the Premier League know that sometimes, when you are playing badly, you simply have to find a way to smuggle out the three points.

It is obviously trite to say it but all teams benefit from fortuitous decisions over the course of a season. Bournemouth were robbed up at Anfield with Benteke’s goal being clearly offside.

Yet the Cherries know as much as anyone that they will benefit themselves from an equally unjust element of human error as the season progresses.

None of this is to criticise Redknapp.

His is a refreshing and welcome honesty in an industry where managers – current and out of work – all too often choose the safe option of gushing praise instead of calling it as they see it.

But Liverpool look in much, much better shape up front, for example, than they did last year.

A glance at the team that came within touching distance of the title two seasons ago shows that that side was not exactly world class either.

But they were blessed with the genius that is Luis Suarez, the towering talents of Raheem Sterling and the leadership of Steven Gerrard.

Benteke is no Suarez but he is the proven striker that Liverpool have needed for some time.

Firmino needs time and is perhaps a touch overpriced at £29million. But he clearly has ability while Can has his best years ahead of him.

Milner may be on biggish wages but he is a steal on a free transfer.

As a team Liverpool look in better shape to finish best of the rest than their rivals, and it is a fair bet that Redknapp’s quotes could yet be used as a motivational tool by Rodgers over the remainder of the season.

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