Jurgen Klopp has hit out at critics of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, claiming so-called experts could not be a “f*****g legend”.
The Reds skipper has seen his performances fall back under the spotlight in the wake of a disappointing showing in the Champions League.
Henderson, operating in a No. 6 role, was unable to prevent his side from surrendering a three-goal lead in their last outing against Sevilla.
Klopp says those targeting the England international are merely looking for a scapegoat, with there little to suggest that they could do any better.
The German coach told reporters ahead of another crunch clash for the Reds against Chelsea: “First of all what I would really prefer is that we do not always talk about ‘what people are saying’. If you always big up what people are saying on social media then we talk about it as if it is the truth.
“Even if they are pundits it doesn’t mean it makes sense, it is only like creating a story. I heard a lot of things about what people said about this or that. We have to accept it at times but we should not suffer all the time.
“Of course, Jordan can play the No. 6. He played it for England, he played it for us. In this game, I would love to see one of the big pundits being on the pitch and in a game like this be the person who changed the whole game. That really is f*****g legend. It really never happens.
“Could he change the game on the pitch? No. Was he too deep in a few positions? Yes. Does that make me think he cannot play the No. 6? No, of course not. Can he improve? Yes. But did he improve already a lot? Wow, 100 per cent.”
Klopp believes Henderson has improved throughout his time at the Anfield helm, with the 27-year-old having taken on the difficult job of replacing club icon Steven Gerrard as skipper.
“He is a proper captain,” the Reds boss added.
“Meanwhile, he wasn’t when I came in but only because he didn’t know how to do it because nobody had to think about how to be captain at Liverpool because they had one for 20 years.
“From the first moment, whatever he [Henderson] is doing it is not good enough because even when he is good he is still not as good as the other one was. I have no problem with that. We can all improve but it is not about the position 6 or whatever. We had to do much better in all positions.
“We spoke about a lot of things but not about the role of Jordan Henderson in this specific formation because it was not an issue. He was not better than the others unfortunately, but he was not worse.
“How you can say he needs to be better because he has the captaincy I will never get this kind of talk. I don’t understand that.”