Liverpool can forget Champions League and should have signed Alexis Sanchez, says Phil Thompson
Last Updated: 30/04/15 6:55am
Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson admits the club’s slim chances of securing a Champions League berth next season are now over.
Liverpool lost 1-0 at relegation-threatened Hull on Tuesday night to leave them seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
With just four games of the Premier League season left to play, Thompson concedes they will not be featuring in Europe’s top competition next season - and says they are paying for some of their dealings in the transfer market.
“Liverpool had to win all of their games between now and the end of the season to have a realistic chance (of securing a Champions League place),” he told The Morning View on Sky Sports News HQ.
“Yes, the door was slightly ajar, the light, as Louis van Gaal had said, had been switched on for Liverpool, but we had to take advantage of that.
“We had to beat Hull at a place that had been a graveyard for us last season, our worst performance when we got beaten 3-1, and this wasn’t much better.
“Hull were nervous. This was a game we had to start quickly and brightly but we never got started. It was the same against West Brom at the weekend.”
Thompson admits Brendan Rodgers has failed to replace Luis Suarez after he left to join Barcelona last summer but feels the Uruguayan should never have been allowed to leave Anfield without a top-class striker to take his place.
The talk was that Liverpool had made a big bid for (Alexis) Sanchez. I wouldn’t have let Suarez get in the taxi to the airport if Sanchez hadn’t have already done the deal.
“Suarez is a big-game player who demands things from other players,” added Thompson. “Why was Daniel Sturridge so good last year? Because Suarez demanded it, Raheem Sterling the same.
“They have been shorn of that. I said at the time Mario Balotelli was worth the risk but as the season has gone on, it hasn’t worked and that has to be changed.
“Rickie Lambert doesn’t seem to have done it, you’ve got Fabio Borini who has been in there. We actually bought a player, Divock Origi, then loaned him back to the club in France.
“Now we are ending up playing with Sterling (up front). Where’s the logic in that?”
Instead, Thompson would have worked hard to ensure Liverpool beat Arsenal to the signing of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, otherwise he would have vetoed Suarez’s move in the opposite direction.
“The talk was that Liverpool had made a big bid for Sanchez. I wouldn’t have let Suarez get in the taxi to the airport if Sanchez hadn’t have already done the deal,” he said.
“Liverpool were in the driving seat on this. They could have said to Suarez, ‘sorry, as much as you want it to go and it’s Barcelona, you are not going anywhere until he signs.’
“I know there were family issues and that’s why he went to London but I wouldn’t have let it (the Suarez transfer) happen.”
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