Jamie Carragher: Liverpool have handed Manchester United a 'get out of jail free' card

Jamie Carragher claims that Liverpool have lost the chance to compete with Manchester United.

Jamie Carragher believes that Liverpool have squandered the chance to knock Manchester United off their perch in English football.

United endured a miserable time under David Moyes last season when they finished as low as seventh in the Premier League table, while Liverpool ended the campaign in second place.

Former Liverpool defender Carragher claims that it was a perfect chance for the Reds to re-establish themselves a major force in English football and step ahead of their arch-rivals United.

“So it was crucial Liverpool made the right steps following that thumping 3-0 victory in March; first by winning the league and then, crucially, with successful player recruitment,” the 36-year-old wrote in The Daily Mail.

“Doing that would have made things difficult for United – who had not ended up below Liverpool in the table for 12 years – to get back into the Champions League at the first chance.

“Yet here we are on December 13, exactly seven months after the last campaign ended, and United are back on the front foot, third in the table. They are an average side, compared to Ferguson's teams of the past, but being in transition has not hindered their ambitions…

“When you consider all that, it proves United could – if they desire – spend £100m every summer. Liverpool have never had that luxury and it feels like, once again, they have handed their most bitter rivals a 'get out of jail free' card.”

Carragher’s argument is that Liverpool did not spend their money wisely in the summer transfer window and did not buy the players who could have helped them launch a challenge for the Premier League title.

And he is right.

The likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli are not exactly bad players (although the latter two have been in wretched form this season), but Luis Suarez was a ‘champion’ and the Reds did not sign a player of his ilk.

Manager Brendan Rodgers does have the players to compete for a top-four finish in the Premier League and one suspects that their results will improve in the coming weeks, but they are unlikely to win the league anytime soon.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch