Retired German Didi Hamann doesn't believe the current Liverpool team is good enough to be playing in the Champions League.
Brendan Rodgers' side crashed out of the tournament last night after picking up only five points from six games in the European tournament. The club finished third in their group, which also contained Real Madrid, Basel and Ludogorets, so they do drop into the Europa League.
Hamann, who made 191 appearances for The Reds between 1999-06, told talkSPORT (NOTE FOR SUB-EDITOR: quotes takes straight from radio) this morning:
"I don't think this Liverpool team deserves to be in the Champions League last-16 and they are out of the competition rightly so and maybe the Europa League is their level now.
"They can grow as players, they can go to different places, maybe win a few rounds. The other thing is that it might be a blessing because playing in the Europa League might be the best chance to get back in the Champions League, they wouldn't have won the Champions League (this season) and I don't think they'll finish in the top four."
You can't really argue with anything that Hamann has said here, Liverpool haven't been good enough in any competitions that they have been involved in this season. The loss of Suarez to Barcelona and Sturridge to injury has really hurt them in attack, and the reinforcements that Rodgers has bought in just haven't been up to it.
While it's true that the Europa League is likely to be their best shot to get back into the Champions League, it will still be an extremely difficult tournament to win with Liverpool in their current state. The tournament already contains many top teams European clubs including Liverpool's domestic rivals Everton and Spurs, and it only gets stronger as seven other Champions League rejects also drop into the competition.
The spotlight isn't leaving Liverpool just yet either as they face a huge clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford this Sunday lunchtime, and that certainly won't be an easy encounter given United's recent run of five wins on the bounce.