Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino have yet to land silverware at Liverpool and Tottenham, but John Barnes considers those to have questioned that lack of success to be “stupid people”.
Two of the most highly-regarded coaches in English football are set to lock horns in the Champions League final on Saturday.
One of them will be bringing a barren run for their respective employers to a close, with Liverpool without a trophy since 2012 and Spurs’ wait stretching back a further four years beyond that.
Klopp and Pochettino have been able to make their sides more entertaining, while pushing them into contention for honours.
Barnes believes that progress should be considered enough, with any critics of those on Merseyside and in north London missing the point when it comes to the value of the men in the dugout.
The former Liverpool star told talkSPORT: “Well, they are being criticised by stupid people because why should Tottenham win the league?
“When it comes to silverware, you can’t ask a manager to win an FA Cup when you don’t know who you’re going to play.
“Let’s say with Pochettino, to win the FA Cup, in the third round he plays Manchester City away, do you expect him to win that? No, but he can win it.
“And then in the fourth round he plays Liverpool away and then in the fifth round he plays Chelsea away. What are the chances of winning all of those matches?
“So to then say ‘we should win silverware’ – it’s ridiculous. The only team you know you’re going to play is in the Premier League and then should they win the league because they’re Tottenham? No.
“Winning silverware, it’s nice and okay, but doing well and getting as far as you can in the league is the most important thing because it shows you the consistency you have, the team that you actually are.”Getty
Barnes, who spent 10 years at Anfield in his playing days, added: “Who would have expected Tottenham to get to a Champions League final?
“Would you then say Tottenham have finished fourth and are in a Champions League final, Pochettino has now failed?
“Which manager could come to Tottenham and make Tottenham win the Premier League and the Champions League? There’s no manager alive at the moment who you’d expect to do that with Tottenham.
“So, why then say Pochettino has failed? It’s the same with Klopp. Liverpool shouldn’t finish second in the league, they should be fourth.
“They shouldn’t beat Barcelona 4-0 to get to the final, but they did.
“Maybe if you’re at Man City, you can be criticised for not winning anything or even Manchester United because they have a bigger squad and have spent more money.
“But to then say Klopp or Pochettino have failed because they have not won silverware – that’s ridiculous.”