Ian Rush: Liverpool still a big club but…

Daniel Teo
Fit to Post Sports

Liverpool legend Ian Rush speaks to Yahoo! Singapore. (Daniel Teo/Yahoo! photo)

With no league title for the last 22 years and out of the Champions League since 2010, Liverpool's status as a "big club" is under threat.

But Reds legend and all-time leading goalscorer Ian Rush, who scored 346 goals in all competitions for the club, insists Liverpool's status as a "Big Four" team is safe -- for now.

However, he warned Liverpool not to sit back on their reputation and to start winning trophies.

The 51-year-old, in town over the weekend for the Liverpool FC Academy event at Bishan Stadium, said, "Of course, we are still a big club. Just look at the support we get both in England and abroad. We've become a worldwide brand."

"But we can't keep going on without winning things if not we will lose a generation. We've lost one generation and we cannot afford to lose another one.  Liverpool need to start winning again," he added.

Brendan Rodgers' side are currently 12th in the Barclays Premier League with just three wins this season. And while the former Swansea manager has injected an attacking flair in the Reds' play, the results and goals have not been coming.

But Rush believes Liverpool are currently in a transition and that Rodgers need to be given time to transform the club.

He said, "I think we are in a transition, being in a position we don't want to be in now. And having four managers in four years hasn't help. I was a bit disappointed when Kenny Dalglish left.

"But we got a young manager now and he is trying to instill his own brand of football at the club. I think they have been unlucky this season. We have been playing really well we are but not killing teams off despite having most of the possession.

"And that kills the confidence of the players. So what they got to do is continue to get the players to believe they can win games," he said.

Turning to the fortunes of another former manager, Rafael Benitez recently made his Premier League comeback after replacing Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea's interim boss. But it has not been the best of starts for the Spaniard, being booed by the Blues fans and has been winless for two games.

But Rush hopes Benitez will be allowed to do his work at Stamford Bridge, although he believes his more defensive and tactical style of play may not suit Chelsea.

"I hope he does well. But the supporters do not seem to be willing to give him a chance. But I think Chelsea like to play more attacking football but Benitez is not as attacking minded. But even though he has yet to win a game he has got two clean sheets and nobody is looking at the positive side."

Chelsea fans will be hoping Benitez's reunion with Fernando Torres will bring out the best in the misfiring striker. But Rush believes the problem lies with Torres himself and does not see the Spaniard returning to Liverpool one day.

He said, "I think it's down to the player himself. His first year at Liverpool was fantastic but his last year wasn't great. His injuries haven't help either.

"Torres is an absolutely great player. I think he's just trying too hard and getting frustrated. His job is to score goals but he running back sometimes because he is so eager to do well.  Sometimes you just got to be a bit lazy and do your job which is to score goals.

"And no I don't see him coming back to Liverpool."

When push comes to shove, Rush says It looks set to be a two-horse title race in the Barclays Premier League this season between the two Manchester clubs -- with City going on to retain their title.

"I think City will win it. Manchester United have a good team and City do not have the same team spirit as United. But it's not the strongest United team. I've seen a lot of stronger United teams," he said.