Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp eclipsed his Sky Sports rant about fixture scheduling with another, more heated exchange on Saturday – this time on BT Sport.
Klopp has spoken at length about the impact that this season’s fixture schedule is having on players. Indeed, Liverpool have suffered worse than most clubs for injuries due to the short turnaround in matches.
Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Xherdan Shaqiri have all suffered muscle or related injuries since the start of the season.
Keita’s hamstring problem, suffered against Leicester last Sunday, prompted Klopp into a rant post-match that Sky Sports did not air in the UK.
However, after James Milner also encountered a hamstring problem against Brighton, Klopp eclipsed that exchange when speaking to BT Sport reporter Des Kelly.
The argument began when Kelly asked the German to confirm if Milner had a hamstring problem. Klopp said: “Yeah. Congratulations.”
After Kelly asked if Klopp was speaking to him personally, the manager added: “No, but you work for them. Hamstring, surprise, and they had injuries as well. But ask Chris Wilder how we can avoid that.”
Klopp was referencing Sheffield United boss Wilder’s jibe that the German would make a “world-class politician”.
Wilder had earlier criticised Klopp for being “selfish” by demanding that the Premier League allows teams to make five substitutes, as was the case following the coronavirus lockdown.
In his more recent press conference, though, Wilder added that Klopp only cares about Liverpool – and forgets the voices of other clubs.
Meanwhile, Klopp and Kelly then argued for almost another five minutes about the Reds’ upcoming games.
Indeed, after calling the turnaround from Wednesday evening’s game against Atalanta to Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off “criminal”, Klopp talked about the identical scenario facing Liverpool in December.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 28, 2020
Klopp offers no sympathy to Salah
Earlier in his interview, Klopp insisted that he made the right call in replacing Mohamed Salah with Sadio Mane.
Salah came off midway through the second half and cut a frustrated figure as he made his way into the stands.
But Klopp explained why Salah’s recent circumstances – including his coronavirus self-isolation – meant he had to be “careful” with the Egyptian winger.