Jurgen’s January blues: His moan about United’s penalty tally is Klopp’s latest bizarre winter rant… He’s complained about the WIND, accused BT Sport of cutting a match short and was unhappy at not getting enough telly time at Christmas!
- Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hasn’t always had the best of times in January
- Liverpool’s form has faltered and Klopp has offered some peculiar reasons
- The wind, the snow and the television broadcasters have all been blamed
Jurgen Klopp has been left unimpressed by a lot of things this winter.
His push for five substitutes was snubbed by the Premier League, his ire over 12.30pm kick-offs after a Wednesday night Champions League match saw him clash with BT Sport, and after Southampton beat Liverpool on Monday night he hit out the referee and queried how many penalties Manchester United are awarded compared with his own side.
Normally associated with a booming laugh and toothy grin, Klopp often seems to catch a dose of the January blues. It is always a tricky month, with the Christmas workload catching up with players. And the lack of daylight gets to most of us at this time of year – perhaps Klopp too?
Whatever the reason for his persistent January moans, here are some of the most notable…
Jurgen Klopp’s dismay at Liverpool not getting a penalty against Southampton on Monday served as a reminder that January has sometimes been a tough month for the Anfield club
The Liverpool boss could not hide his frustration on the touchline during the shock defeat
Any Sunday league footballer knows how much wind can derail a game of football and even though it is a far more illustrious level, the Premier League is ultimately no different.
Liverpool were knocked out of the League Cup by Southampton at the semi-final stage in 2017, with the Saints winning the second leg 1-0 at Anfield.
Despite Liverpool failing to break down a resolute Southampton defence – much like the recent game at St Mary’s – Klopp felt the weather caused his team just as many problems.
‘First half, it was difficult – the wind was really strange, it was difficult to handle,’ he told reporters. ‘You saw one or two balls when the ball stopped in a moment when nobody knew about it. That was difficult for a football-playing side.
‘I said a few times when I came here about the wind and everybody was laughing, but today was really difficult, really difficult to play football with this wind.’
Daniel Sturridge (centre), Divock Origi and Co suffered a surprise defeat in January 2017
Klopp said the wind hindered Liverpool in their 2017 EFL Cup loss to Southampton at Anfield
BROADCASTERS ‘STOPPED ADDED TIME’
VAR was being trialled in Liverpool’s FA Cup tie against West Brom, which Klopp’s side lost 2-1, in 2018.
Klopp’s point of contention this time came from the amount of stoppage time added on at the end of the first half – he believed it was meant to be far longer than the four minutes that were given.
‘What I heard was that the actual extra time in the first half should have been 10 minutes,’ Klopp said. ‘It was only four minutes. I heard that television said it’s not longer than four minutes.
‘Of course that’s not possible, you can’t cut match time because there is something else to broadcast. I don’t know what was on afterwards, maybe the news or something. It was 10 minutes and so you need to play 10 minutes longer. You cannot say: “It’s now a little bit too long.”’
BT Sport said they had no influence over how much stoppage time is awarded during matches.
Klopp was left unhappy with the broadcasters when Liverpool lost to West Brom in 2018
In January 2019, Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester at Anfield and Klopp was again left frustrated by the weather conditions. This time, it was snow that was to blame.
‘You saw that the ball didn’t roll really,’ Klopp said. ‘If you then have the ball pretty much for 70 to 80 per cent of the time it makes life really uncomfortable.
‘The only problem is if it stays on the pitch and that was actually the case.
Liverpool took the lead through an early Sadio Mane strike but Harry Maguire levelled for the Foxes.
Sadio Mane put Liverpool ahead on a snowy night against Leicester at Anfield in 2019
But when the game finished 1-1, Klopp said that the snow had held Liverpool back in the game
REFEREE DISRUPTS MOMENTUM
Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham in February 2019 and Klopp felt that decisions from the referee disrupted his side’s flow of the game.
Sadio Mane had put Liverpool ahead with a goal in the first half that saw James Milner contribute from an offside position in the build-up play.
Klopp felt referee Kevin Friend over compensated with decisions in the second half to make up for the error.
‘He knew it (Liverpool’s goal was offside) for sure at half-time,’ Klopp said. ‘Then you saw a lot of strange situations. They were not decisive but just rhythm breakers. That obviously didn’t help us.
‘If I’ve made a mistake in the first half, I don’t want to open the gap even more as a human being.’
Klopp was unimpressed with referee Kevin Friend when Liverpool drew at West Ham in 2019
A moan at the Christmas fixtures, but also at Raymond Verhijen – a Dutch fitness coach who repeatedly blamed Klopp’s coaching methods for a number of Liverpool’s injuries in the early days of his Anfield tenure.
For Klopp, the injuries were in part down to the bumper schedule. His side’s clash with Manchester City in the 2016-17 season was scheduled for New Year’s Eve before a trip to Sunderland on January 2.
Speaking in January 2017, he said: ‘I don’t know why we play. Is January 2 a special day in England?
’48 hours between two games – how does this work? And then you will sit there and say: “You didn’t perform too well, how did this happen?” or “injuries. Oh?” and then this Dutch guy says “the training is not too good”.
Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 on New Year’s Eve at Anfield back in 2016
Klopp was delighted with the result but not happy with Liverpool’s schedule that year
‘How do you prepare a team for this. Do you say only 50 per cent against City because we have Sunderland on Monday? It doesn’t sound like it is right.’
Klopp also blamed the Premier League schedule on England’s struggle for success at World Cups and European Championships.
‘Everyone is asking why England is not too successful in big tournaments,’ Klopp added. ‘Ask what other big countries are doing at this time – they have their legs on the sofa and are watching English football.’
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