Dutch legend smites down Liverpool ‘pretender’ for trying to steal Klopp glory in sensational rant

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz, John Achterberg Liverpool v Brentford January 2022

Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders should take back his claims that he has influenced the silverware success alongside Jurgen Klopp, one observer has said.

Klopp has often received the praise for being the face of Liverpool’s success in his role as manager. The Reds have won five major trophies under his stewardship, including the Premier League and Champions League.

More recently, Liverpool added a record ninth Carabao Cup triumph to their major honours list.

However, Klopp has constantly been keen to shower those around him with praise for their input. Indeed, he has labelled Peter Krawietz, another of his assistants, ‘The Eye’ for his crucial analysis role at Liverpool.

Lijnders is also a crucial cog in the Liverpool works. The Dutchman took charge of the Reds in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea in January when Klopp was absent with coronavirus.

Lijnders also oversaw all the Carabao Cup press conferences on the run to the final this season.

However, Dutch legend Wim Kieft slammed his compatriot for, in his view, trying to take unjust credit for Klopp’s work.

“By the way, for those who didn’t know yet: Pepijn Lijnders, together with Jurgen Klopp, is the founder of the success of Liverpool. At least, according to Lijnders himself,” Wieft wrote in a De Telegraaf column.

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“During an interview for Dutch television, Klopp’s assistant caused curled toes by continuously talking about ‘Jurgen and I’. He only talked about the great cooperation, the openness of their relationship and the trust that had developed from that.

“An ostentatious attempt to take credit for himself or at least take some of the credit for Liverpool’s achievements.

“Whoever works as an assistant to Klopp; Liverpool’s success is Klopp’s success. He experiences the pressure as Liverpool’s head coach every day. The assistant is not under pressure.

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“For him it is easy to dance on the table and be part of a successful group without being held responsible for its success. Lijnders should sometimes rub that under his nose.”

Kieft, who played for Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, claimed that Lijnders “pretended” that he and Klopp have jointly “put Liverpool on the map”.

But the pundit added: “Before their arrival in 2015, this great glorious and successful English club had already won numerous awards nationally and internationally, Liverpool had already been the best in Europe five times.”

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Liverpool coaches Pep Lijnders and Jurgen Klopp

Klopp has constantly given his assistants and other staff at the club praise.

It is arguably a reflection of the team on the pitch – greater than the sum of its parts. Klopp has also said that while he can give his side instructions, it is up to the players to perform.

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And Liverpool, on the pitch, represent a team of players who work for each other.

There is also talk that Lijnders could replace Klopp as the long-term successor at Liverpool for a sense of continuity at Anfield.