Didi Hamann: Liverpool need to learn to control games if they want to start winning trophies and attracting top talent to Anfield

Former Reds legend Didi Hamann on why Jurgen Klopp’s side are struggling to control games, and how top European talent are more likely to go to Chelsea unless things change

In the last 10 years Chelsea have won the Champions League, two Premier League titles, the Europa League, four FA Cups and two League cups. Liverpool only have one League Cup to show in that time.

That is the issue for the Reds. If they carry on the way they have in the last few years they will struggle to attract the very best in the world. If both clubs were going to fight equally for honours, Liverpool would always be a bigger pull than Chelsea, but right now Chelsea are a more attractive option for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That’s where things need to change.

At Anfield last week, Chelsea did exactly what Liverpool can’t do – control games when they haven’t got the ball. That’s the mark of a top team. Chelsea let Liverpool play where they wanted them to play and then they broke quick, hitting the Reds on the counter. Chelsea didn’t play particularly well going forward, but in defence they took the pressure and hardly allowed Liverpool any chances. Control is the key, and Liverpool can’t do that. 

Jurgen Klopp needs to see which players will win him trophies over the next few years because he must be a bit disappointed with one or two of the squad after recent results – particularly the League Cup and FA Cup defeats.

Signings are key for Klopp going forward, but if I was Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and I’m sitting down deciding where to go, looking at Liverpool, would I be satisfied with just knocking on the door of the Champions League and making semi-finals?

The lack of a holding midfielder is the biggest issue with them because the likes of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Origi or Daniel Sturridge are in the side. So going forward they’re alright as they always score goals, but defensively they’re being exposed.

If you got a player like N’Golo Kante or Nemanja Matic in your team it gives everyone so much more confidence. You defend long balls easier for starters which is something Liverpool have been getting caught out with.

Liverpool should be more like Tottenham, who they play on Saturday at Anfield. Spurs have got their problems in the background too, but they are a united team. They’ve a manager firmly in control who decides what he wants to do and there’s no distractions for Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham’s wage bill and the amount they’ve spent is quite a way behind some of the top teams – however they left most of their rivals in the dust last season and they are starting to do it again this campaign. Jurgen Klopp can mirror the excellent job Pochettino has done but there are some structures within Liverpool where people are convinced that the club is bigger than it actually is.

It’s difficult to back Liverpool with any confidence against Spurs considering their recent form. Tottenham are a well drilled side who are very solid defensively. This Spurs team are exactly the type of side that seem to cause Liverpool problems.

Tottenham will take all three points if they continue the form they’ve been in since Christmas. Although a draw probably suits both teams as Liverpool aim to stop the rot and Spurs look to consolidate a top four finish. A point away at Liverpool is never a bad result and Klopp’s men just need to chip away to build a bit of confidence back. With that in mind backing a cagey 0-0 draw might not be a bad move.

What do you think?