Liverpool can qualify for Champions League says Kevin Keegan


Former Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan believes a top-four finish in the
Barclays Premier League is an achievable target for new boss Brendan
Rodgers this season.

The ex-Swansea manager took over at Anfield following the sacking of Kenny Dalglish during the summer and faces his first league match at the helm away to West Brom on Saturday.

Liverpool's American owners have charged the 39-year-old with revitalising the club's fortunes and Keegan reckons Rodgers is the right man for the job, with a return to the Champions League being attainable.

"I think it is a big ask but it is probably the right time for him to go there," he told Press Association Sport.

"He comes with a lot of knowledge - he has got good experience, but Liverpool is different for him, the expectation at Liverpool, regardless of what anyone said is to win the league.

"Even top four for Liverpool fans, because of what they have been brought up on is not enough, but if things go well it is achievable.

"Last year if they had won half of the home games they had drawn they would have been in the top four. There are lots of things if you're a Liverpool fan to give you hope and inspiration."

Keegan, who was talking at the launch of ESPN's new football brand ESPNFC, has also been impressed with the attractive philosophy favoured by the Northern Irishman and thinks it will please the Liverpool support.

"What I think Liverpool fans will like about Brendan is the football that he plays," he said.

"It is attractive and whereas at Swansea he didn't have a Suarez or a Gerrard he has them now and he can play that kind of football with better players."

Wales midfielder Joe Allen has followed Rodgers from Swansea to Anfield and Keegan feels he could prove to be an influential player from the outset.

"He may give them something else," he said of the 22-year-old midfielder.

"It is always a great sign when a manager goes back to his former club and brings a player with him and I think Allen could be the key.

"He has paid a lot of money for him and surprised a lot of people but look out for him being a big hit with the Liverpool fans."

Despite finishing eighth last season after heavy investment in new players Keegan maintains Rodgers has inherited some top-class players at Liverpool and must do his utmost to hang on to them, with the likes of Daniel Agger being linked with champions Manchester City.

He said: "They have got three world-class players for me at the moment, (Steven) Gerrard obviously, (Luis) Suarez and Agger at the back.

"They have still got (Stewart) Downing there, they have still got (Andy) Carroll there and they still have (Charlie) Adam there.

"These are players they brought last year and you think to yourself, what if they start to find their feet this year and the new kids come in and do well, they could challenge. It is a big ask but if all of these things come off they could be good enough.

"It is no good getting a good few players in and then let one go.

"He (Agger) has been very consistent so the minute you get that kind of player going out it weakens you.

"You have to find someone out there who is better than him and there are only one or two I think are better than him but I don't think they would want to come."

Another Liverpool player attracting the attention of other clubs in £35million England striker Carroll.

Former side Newcastle, as well as recently-promoted West Ham, have made their admiration of the forward well-known but Keegan thinks staying put would be the right decision for the 23-year-old.

"Rodgers played with a big lad up front at Swansea with Danny Graham, obviously there was a lot of talk about him going out on loan and I see him as a tremendous asset to have on the bench," he said.

"Him and Suarez should be an amazing combination, if that ball is going up in the air he will beat anyone - I wouldn't close the door on Carroll yet even though some people have.

"It was not that long ago he was scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup semi-final and then came on and scored in the final, he won a League Cup and he might think he has something to prove and will want to prove it.

"I think he was starting to find his feet towards the end of the season and he is following in the footsteps of players like Dalglish, Rush and Fowler."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'