The fallen champions host Aston Villa today needing a win to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four, having fallen below the scintillating standards they set last season.
The Reds’ title defence has of course been seriously undermined by a crippling injury crisis which included their three first-choice centre-halves succumbing to long-term injuries.
But Roy Keane has accused Klopp’s side of making excuses, saying they have “believed their own hype”.
Dalglish – who won three top-flight titles as Liverpool manager as well as six as player – has said there are “no excuses” for his former side being so far off the pace, with the Reds three points off a top-four spot and a staggering 25 points behind leaders Manchester City.
However, he has sympathy with Klopp after the Anfield chief lost Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to injuries – as well as Jordan Henderson and earlier in the season Fabinho, with both players having filled in at centre-half.
“There are no excuses, but there are some reasons,” Dalglish said.
“One of the biggest contributary factors was losing four players in the same position, because then that was the back four out of commission or certainly weaker than they were.”
Earlier this season, seven-time Premier League title-winner Keane accused Liverpool of being “bad champions”.
Keane was captain of the Manchester United side who won three successive crowns between 1998 and 2001, and he said he had been disappointed by the Reds’ title defence after they won the league for the first time in 30 years last season.
“You can lose a game of football but…I can’t figure this group out. Looking at them, even during the week Brighton were comfortable, you can get beaten in a game – there’s a way to be beaten. But I don’t see that.
“I think maybe they’ve believe the hype over the last year or two. We spoke about there would be some sort of drop off but they’re playing for a big team in Liverpool. Almost if they won the league last year and got a big carried away, believe their own hype they’re going to beat teams.
“In my mindset when you’ve won a league title your next challenge is ‘can we do it again’.
“Obviously it was a long wait, 30 years, but I never heard any of the players come out and say ‘I want to do it again’. That’s the key. Now they’re talking about trying to get in the top four…from winning the league last year.”
“This year we have faced completely new problems. I have never in my life – and I have been doing the job for 20 years – had to change the last line every week.
“I am a much better manager this season than I was before because usually you are not having to think about these things but now I am having to think about them constantly.
“People might say that is an excuse. I could not care less, to be honest. We do not use it as an excuse but if you ask me the question then it is the explanation for why things changed.”
Dalglish, an ambassador for McDonald’s, said: ‘We’re 3-1 down in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, playing again on Wednesday against Real Madrid.
“The final is being played at the Ataturk Stadium which is the stadium where we beat AC Milan on penalties, so maybe romance is not yet dead and the bad season is going to have a happy ending.”
- ^ Premier League (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Liverpool (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Manchester United (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Manchester City (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Brighton (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Liverpool. (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Sky Sports (www.skysports.com)
- ^ Real Madrid (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Mirror Football email here (www.mirror.co.uk)
[email protected] (Gareth Bicknell)