Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann expects Jurgen Klopp’s side to challenge in the Premier League title race, but fears they may ultimately fall short despite their blistering start to the season.
Seven wins from 10 games – including away to Arsenal and Chelsea and at home to champions Leicester City – have propelled Liverpool to 23 points, placing them level with leaders Manchester City.
Their performances this term have increased belief among supporters that they could claim their first top-flight title in 26 years, but although Hamann expects them to be in the running, he believes they will miss out.
The 2005 Champions League winner told Omnisport: “They’ve got a chance but so have four or five other teams. I don’t think there is an awful lot between the teams.
“You’ve got Man United who don’t look capable right now, but they’ve got a good squad and if they click then maybe they could be the sixth team joining the title race.
“I think it’s as open as it has been and Liverpool are one of the teams. You can make the case to say they have achieved the most, if you look at the teams they have played so far.
“I don’t think they will win the league, but they’ll have a chance.”
Hamann feels that the key to Liverpool’s chances of success this season will be if Klopp can maintain harmony within his ample squad, without the bonus of being able to field less regular starters in European matches.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and striker Daniel Sturridge are two senior first-team players who have been used sparingly by the former Borussia Dortmund boss this season, but Hamann says they could prove important if injuries begin to mount.
“The task for the manager will be to keep everybody happy,” he said. “Mignolet said he can’t see himself on the bench for the season; Daniel Sturridge isn’t a regular starter in the Premier League. Can you keep all these guys happy without European competition?
“There could be players who won’t play all season, play a few games in April and may make all the difference. You have to keep everybody on side and have the right characters who accept that not being in the team at the moment is just the way it is.
“Whether he has the right characters or not, he’ll find out during the season. Things do change very quickly in football. He’s got to try to keep everybody on side.”
Hamann was speaking courtesy of the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University, an accredited two year, part-time course that teaches a unique curriculum tailored to meet the real demands of leading sporting organisations.