Jurgen Klopp has agreed there is a direct correlation between the Premier League’s crazy scorelines and empty stadiums.
Klopp’s Liverpool were on the wrong end of one of the league’s shock scores to date – the 7-2 reverse to Aston Villa last time out.
Manchester United were also thumped 6-1 at home to Spurs, while Leicester stunned Man City in September.
Asked whether games being played behind closed doors had an impact with players not feeling the crowd, and their minds being able to wander, Klopp concurred.
He said: “It looks like that is the reason because nothing else changed. Only the scorelines and no people in the stadium.
“It makes sense we see it like this, but I don’t know 100 percent.
“I see it like this. The crowd sharpen your focus. That is clear, but is no excuse.
“It is the same for both teams. One conceded seven and the other conceded two.”
“There is still an opportunity to use the situation.
“We know it is our job to get ourselves in the mood. The crowd cannot help.”
Asked about Mo Salah’s form ahead of Saturday’s Merseyside derby, Klopp said: “I’m very impressed. He scored twice v Villa but he would like to score in other games when we win.
“Overall, he’s been really good so far. Complete. Involved, a proper option and still sharp finishing.”
The German boss also paid tribute to Salah’s work ethic after his five goals in four appearances
“All these players are a mix of natural ability and work,” added Klopp. “Without practice you have no chance. How I said, the skillset of Mo is outstanding but without his attitude he would not be the player he is. So it’s a mix.”
Project Big Picture
Klopp believes Project Big Picture was drawn up with the right intentions and is pleased it has sparked a debate in football.
The plan was devised by John W Henry, principal figure for the Reds’ owners Fenway Sports Group, and counterparts from Manchester United but received short shrift from the majority of their fellow Premier League clubs this week as they voted down the proposal.
That has led to criticism of Liverpool and United but Klopp believes it has provided a key starting point.
“A lot of times in life there has to be a crisis – not necessarily a virus but a crisis – to start talking and this time I am really happy that people now talk about it,” he said.
“It’s not like I was involved, but I can say all the people I know who were involved are concerned about football. Yes, about Liverpool as well, but about football in general, that was their intention.
“There are things we can improve and I really think if you always have to improve them now before you see the real problems in the future – that is what these people tried to do.
“I think when the process keeps on going and people are talking about it then it is very positive.”