Hamann: Liverpool need time to rebuild

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes that the Reds will need some time before they can return to their former glory in the Premier League.

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By Kelvin Yap

Hamann cemented his name in Liverpool folklore following his effort in stopping AC Milan star Kaka in the 2005 Champions League Final which enabled his side to comeback three goals down to a 3-3 draw and claim the trophy via penalty shoot out.

The Liverpool legend was in Singapore to hold a football clinic with local side Albirex Niigata and show off his skills at the opening of local futsal pitch Stadio@Canberra.

In an exclusive interview with ESPNSTAR.com, Hamann shared his thoughts on his former side Liverpool and the state of English football in general.

The Reds ended last season with a dismal 52 points in eighth place, behind local rivals Everton and closer in points to the relegation zone than to a Champions League spot. 

The 39-year-old feels that Liverpool will have to take time in order to rebuld and return themselves with new signings to the status as a powerhouse in English football after the disappointing campaign.

He said: "They ended the season 17 points behind the top four. If they can close the gap to five to eight points, I think that would be a good season for them. I can't see them finishing inside the top four, not with the two Manchester clubs, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea around. It will be a tough task.

"To make up sixteen points within a year without bringing in any players (editor's note: Liverpool have not signed anyone in this window so far), it's a big ask of Brendan Rodgers. I think the best we can hope for is to be back in the Champions League in two or three years time, which will be an achievement."

Speaking on the decision to replace Kenny Dalglish with Rodgers, Hamann feels that the Liverpool board made the right decision.

Despite winning the League Cup and reaching the FA Cup Final, the former Germany international feels that Dalglish's series of mistakes did not warrant him another season at the helm.

"Winning League Cup isn't enough - you need to be in the Champions League these days," said Hamann, "He made too many mistakes on and off the pitch. The way he handled the Suarez affair was a disgrace for Liverpool football club. 

"I think they lost a lot of credit and cedibility, especially in Asia. I was in Malaysia at that time, where people were very upset when Suarez didn't shake Evra's hand and even put the shirts on in support of Suarez.

"I think they (Liverpool) lacked leadership last season and the club made the right decision.

"I think in Rodgers now they have a man who's ambitious, who's young. I think he'll do well. They will need four or five players. I don't know if they got the money to buy any, but I'm hopeful. I'm more hopeful than I was last year.

Having worked under Sven Goran Eriksson as his assistant at Leicester City and taken charge of Stockport County last season, Hamann is looking to take the next step into management and is currently taking his last UEFA Coaching License. However, he still hasn't made plans and isn't ruling anything out at the moment.

"I want to finish my qualifications first. I finish it next year, and then we'll see. 

"I'm not dreaming where I'll be at in three, five or ten years. The next job is always the most important, so I finish that, see what's coming up and take it from there."



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