The former Liverpool player shared a few bizarre thoughts on the defences of the Premier League contenders.
A constant feature of the season thus far has been the inevitable post-mortem on many of Liverpool’s matches, usually centred on what is a generous defence in comparison to a superb attacking threat.
Despite defeating the likes of Arsenal and Leicester City, the Reds’ goal difference in the Premier League is a meagre plus one with thirteen goals scored and twelve conceded. Only West Ham and chronic strugglers Crystal Palace have conceded more.
Given this reality, surely table toppers Manchesters City and United, along with Chelsea, are better set in defence. Not so, according to the ex-England boss.
“I don’t think Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea are great defensively. It’s not just a Liverpool problem”, said Keegan at an Aspire Academy event.
“There are a lot of teams in the Premier League struggling in defence. All the rules have been changed to suit attackers — yellow cards, red cards. It’s no fun being a defender. If a defender misses three tackles he’s off so it’s no wonder they are cautious.
“Yes they are conceding goals and they say it’s a bit like my [Newcastle] team, but at Liverpool fans want to see a good game of football and they want the team to have a go.”
In contrast to Liverpool, City, United and Chelsea have conceded two, two and six League goals respectively – still collectively less than the former’s tally. While it’s worth considering that we’re just two months into the new season, it’s a fact that the front three have invested heavily in their back fives.
City recruited goalkeeper Ederson, in what appears to be their best piece of business in the summer. Not content with that, Pep Guardiola has also splashed out on full-backs Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo (costing €178.5m in total). United brought in Victor Lindelof to complement the already solid Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones, while Chelsea promoted Andreas Christensen and added Antonio Rudiger and Davide Zappacosta for good measure.
Liverpool failed to capture any defensive players in the summer following their attempt to sign Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, bar full-back Andy Robertson from Hull. Jurgen Klopp will have to wait for the January window, which is still months away, in order to rectify Liverpool’s defensive woes.