Joey Barton drew the ire of Liverpool supporters in August when he labelled Jurgen Klopp “a giant German cheerleader”.
Barton wasn’t buying into all the hype surrounding Klopp, who many view as the man to return Liverpool to the top, and even criticised his tactics against the weaker sides.
"I'm not buying the Klopp aura and that he is this super coach. His career doesn't point that way,” Barton told talkSPORT.
"He has gone in with all this charisma and seems a down to earth nice guy, but I always worry when I see him prancing up and down the touchline. He is like a giant German cheerleader for them!"
It turns out that Liverpool have done nothing in the past three months to change Barton’s opinion.
Barton rinsed Klopp again on Monday
Speaking on talkSPORT on Monday morning, Barton claimed Liverpool are “regressing” under Klopp.
The former Manchester City midfielder also said the 50-year-old’s “ego is in overdrive.”
“Liverpool are getting closer to the other sides than they are to winning the league,” Barton said.
“They are actually regressing under Jurgen Klopp. They are not getting any closer to winning the league.
“Manchester City are now 14 points ahead of them having played the same amount of games. They are closer to West Ham, who are in the relegation zone, than they are to the top of the table.”
Liverpool have thrown away leads in their past two matches, against Sevilla and Chelsea, and Barton believes Klopp must change his system or else his defence will continue to struggle.
“Liverpool are making the same mistakes now that they made in August,” he said.
“They are making the same mistakes now that they have made all the way through Jurgen Klopp’s tenure.
“At what point do you say, ‘he needs to adjust’. His ego is in overdrive.
“He needs to adjust because Liverpool are phenomenal at times going forward but every single game they seem to have an error or a rick in them.”
Liverpool having defensive problems is nothing new. Not since 2009-10 have they conceded fewer than 40 goals in a Premier League season.
It’s only their explosive attack - led by Mohamed Salah, who has scored 10 league goals - that sees them in touching distance of the top four.
So Barton has a point. A change in how Klopp coaches his defence, as well as a new centre-back (Virgil van Dijk, perhaps), is required.