Former Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf has claimed Jurgen Klopp’s side “bottled it” last season and reckons they’ll miss out on the Premier League title again this season.
The Reds enjoyed a memorable 2018/19 campaign despite missing out on the top-fight title, a season in which they finished with a record haul of 97 points. But that wasn’t enough to prevent Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City from securing their second straight league title.
They did, however, finish the season on a high by beating Tottenham in the European Cup final in Madrid but that hasn’t stopped Diouf from criticising his former employers. The Senegal superstar, who called time on his playing career in 2015, endured an ill-fated three-year spell at Anfield and he didn’t hold back in his assessment of their failed title bid.
He told FourFourTwo : “I don’t see them doing as well as they did last season. They had the chance to win the league title; they had it in their hands and then let it slip. They were seven points ahead around Christmas – how Manchester City got it in the end beats my mind. As they say in England, I think they bottled it. If you have only one defeat in a whole season, surely you can’t say that you didn’t win the league – so it’s hard for me to imagine them having such a similar season and coming out as champions. Manchester City will be the team to beat once again.”
Diouf agreed a £10million move to Liverpool ahead of the 2002 World Cup and his stunning performances for Senegal at the tournament led to much excitement over his arrival.
However the former striker proved to be a flop at Anfield and he reflects on his move with much negativity.
He added: “I’ve never hidden the fact that Liverpool didn’t treat me right and that they cherished some players better than me, even though I’d arrived with a better profile. Sometimes, reporters will never get what goes on in the club and in the dressing room. Don’t get me wrong: the club is run very well now, based on what I hear from Sadio Mane, but I feel I was seen as an outsider back then. The upsetting thing is that Real Madrid and Barcelona had offered me more money, but I really wanted to go to Liverpool – and it ended up being one of my worst experiences.”
Photo Credit: Getty