Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp challenged Sky Sports’ Vinny O’Connor to “write a piece” about international duty after being asked about his players’ travels on Friday.
It might have been 11 days since the 7-2 thumping by Aston Villa, but Klopp was not in a jovial mood at his Melwood press conference.
The Reds coach may have had time to get that defeat out of his system, but he had definitely not forgotten.
The German coach has already been vocal about his thoughts of national associations and their care of duty to international players. Earlier this month he said he was “slightly concerned” in a long rant at one of his press conferences.
With Everton lying in wait for the champions on Saturday lunchtime, Klopp was asked about the shape of his players on his international duty.
O’Connor via Zoom call asked: “Was was the international week like for you with concerns over so many of them having to travel?”
Klopp replied: “Actually I don’t like to answer this question because it sounds like I moan about something I have no control over.
“If you want to be a serious journalist, write a piece about it. That’s how it is when you play on a Wednesday in Peru and a Saturday in Liverpool.
“What do you think about this? And what is FIFA doing about this? And how they help us bringing the player back.
“It was like it always was, they all came back healthy. How fit? We have one and a half days to improve that. To get them match fit.”
Asked about Saturday’s opponents Everton, Klopp said: “They did some good business and Carlo is a sensational manager. It was clear if he has time to build something and resources to build something, that is what he will do.
“The team look really, really good. I’d like to say something different.
“A lot of teams made good business in this window and they will all improve.”
Everton have won a derby with Liverpool for 10 years.
Klopp, who did crack a few jokes later in the news conference, said: “Ten years for them, long may it continue from my point but we’ve never once thought about it. We’ve never had that in our mind. Hardest work for us tomorrow and we will be ready.”
Klopp confirmed that Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss out against Everton.
Asked about Alisson’s progress, Klopp said: “Very, very positive and Alisson has made big steps. I don’t have a timeframe but he looks really good. Naby will not make it.
“Oxlade is long-term. Everyone got back healthy from internationals.”
Speaking about Thiago and Sadio Mane, who are returning from contracting coronavirus, Klopp said: “They’ve had five or six days in training I will say. He assess every day.
“We measure if they are more fatigued than normal. They look really good. We would never risk anyone.
“The boys are ready.”