Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made his feelings clear on former Reds midfielder Dietmar Hamann during a prickly press conference exchange at Ibrox when quizzed on whether his side needed a spark – a verdict delivered by his fellow German after the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal. The 2019 Champions League winners head north of the border in control of their own destiny when knockout qualification is concerned after winning two of their three matches in Group A despite turbulent form in the Premier League.
However, the bitterly-frustrating defeat to Arsenal on Sunday has created serious question marks about Liverpool’s credentials this season as they continue to lose ground on their fellow rivals.
In the build-up to Wednesday’s game against Rangers, ex-Liverpool ace Hamann declared Klopp’s side are lacking a spark, comments that the current Reds boss was not willing to entertain.
When addressing the media, he was asked by Sky Sports’ Vinny O’Connor: “I heard the phrase used after the Arsenal game that Liverpool need a spark, what do you feel…”
Klopp interrupted, saying: “Who said that?” To which O’Connor replied: “Didi Hamann.”
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Klopp said: “I actually think, Didi Hamann doesn’t deserve for you to use his phrase to ask me a question. Do me a favour and ask your own question.”
Before joking with a smile: “Try to ask a question without using the word spark, that’s the challenge now!”
Hamann has often been critical with his analysis of Liverpool in recent times while working within the media in Germany – something Klopp has seemingly taken note of.
The 49-year-old said of his former employers: “Liverpool look tired, pedestrian and flat. I don’t know where the spark will come from.
“They are far superior to Rangers but they will have a tough game on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t write them off but they need a spark. The new signings need time to settle and since Mo Salah has signed his new deal he has gone missing. They look one-dimensional right now.”
Hamann played over 200 times for Liverpool, winning nine trophies along the way including two FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League.
Liverpool will be without Luis Diaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip for the trip to Ibrox after all three players picked up injuries in the defeat to Arsenal.