John Barnes rejects Harry Redknapp's Liverpool criticism, but highlights key issue with squad

Liverpool were thumped at home by West Ham last weekend after a solid start to the season.

Liverpool legend John Barnes has responded to criticism levelled at the Reds by Harry Redknapp, after the former QPR boss delivered a damning verdict on the club's prospects this season at the Telegraph's Total Football Live event.

“Some of Harry’s points are valid, but it terms of this team being the worst Liverpool side ever – I wouldn’t say so,” said the former England international, in an interview with talkSPORT.

“We’re a very hard working side, we are a physical side, we can outrun teams and are strong. Defensively we haven’t conceded many goals, apart from against West Ham.”

Liverpool began the season well, winning their opening two games and producing a fine display away to Arsenal in a goalless draw, but last Saturday’s encounter with the Hammers was a day to forget.

Brendan Rodgers’ men succumbed to a disciplined West Ham side and were comprehensively beaten in the end, taking some of the gloss off their bright start.

Barnes doesn’t feel that Liverpool’s last game is indicative of their quality, however, and cited the troubles of the other top teams as evidence that the season takes a while to settle in to.

“It showed against West Ham that we do have our problems but, apart from Man City, every other team is not playing consistently well,” said the former Liverpool man.

Barnes also went on to suggest that Liverpool’s playing style may be responsible for Redknapp’s criticism, and admitted that the Reds are no longer as entertaining a side as they once were.

“We know the type of players Harry Redknapp likes, he likes exciting football, and this isn’t necessarily going to be an exciting or free-flowing team,” he added.

“Apart from Coutinho, we haven’t really got that type of that player. We haven’t got that many inventive players, what we do have are fit, strong players - but that doesn’t mean we can’t be competitive.”

The race for the top four looks set to be as hotly contested as it has been in recent memory this year, with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and even Chelsea, looking unconvincing so far.

Liverpool and Spurs are the main contenders to break up the grip of the incumbent top four, and on early indications there's no reason why either team should doubt their chances.

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