Saturday, 18th August, 2012
Former Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke believes that were he and ex-boss Kenny Dalglish still in charge at Anfield, then a return to the Premier League top four would be on the cards for the Reds.
Clarke also thinks that new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers should be held to the same target, despite the club’s American owners relaxing the requirement of making the Champions League for the former Swansea City maanger.
Indeed, while Dalglish was expected to steer the club back into the top four last season after splurging around £100M in 18 months on new players, Rodgers has been told he can take three years to find a path back into the Champions League.
"Kenny and I were pretty sure with the group of players we had, that Liverpool would be in the top four this season", Clarke, now West Brom manager, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
And the Scot is sure that Rodgers should have the same expectations placed upon him, even though Liverpool’s Boston-based owners have relaxed the requirement.
"They said top four is not imperative for the current season, but I don’t believe that.
"A club like Liverpool have to be there challenging for the top four. I don’t think they can accept anything less."
Clarke also took the opportunity to stress that he has no axe to grind with the Merseyside giants, who his new side will play in their Premier League opener today.
"I’ve got no grievance whatsoever with Liverpool Football Club. I had a fantastic time there and obviously after Saturday I’ll wish them well for the season."
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