Fans who have watched Riise in action can certainly attest to the Norwegian’s no-holds-barred approach to defending, as well as his shooting prowess.
It is no wonder, then, that Riise used the word 'smash' a whopping 11 times in an interview with FourFourTwo during the Singapore leg of the Standard Chartered Trophy tournament at the weekend.
“In football, you need players to smash the opposition and be aggressive,” said Riise, who spent seven years with the Reds from 2001-2008.
“The fans love to see aggression and passion. When I played for Liverpool, no team liked to come to Anfield and face us because they knew they would be in for a tough game, where there would be plenty of aggression and attack.
“That level of intensity and passion is coming back and it comes from the influence of the manager, but Liverpool also need to bring in new players
“Yes, you need the creative players like (Roberto) Firmino and (Philippe) Coutinho, but you also need people to get stuck in and smash the opponents like how Didi (Dietmar Hamann), Jamie (Carragher), (Sami) Hyppia, Steven (Gerrard) and (Javier) Mascherano did when I was there.”
While Riise backed current Liverpool manager Klopp to lift the club up the table, the 35-year-old feels that much more needed to be done for the Reds to challenge for silverware once again.
“Look, I love the club and even now, I watch every game when I can so I don’t like to say anything negative,” Riise said.
“But the core needs to be stronger. They need a new goalkeeper, a new centre-back, a new central midfielder and a striker.
“We once had players like Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, who were footballers at the top of their games. We need those types of players at Liverpool again.
“I am sure Klopp already has some ideas on who he wants in, but a big name is needed to make the fans believe again.”
Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo
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