Jurgen Klopp urged “the pundits to calm down” over the European Super League after naming his four frontline strikers in the starting line-up as Liverpool hosted Newcastle.
Klopp picked Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah together for just the third time this season. The intent was clearly to attack a Newcastle side with the threat of relegation hanging over their heads. However, all the pre-match talk remained with the doomed European Super League. Klopp made his feelings clear about the aborted bid on Friday at his press conference.
The angry reaction to the ESL plans was led by Sky Sports’ Gary Neville, who issued a passionate rant last Sunday, when the news broke. That was followed up with another heartfelt speech on Monday Night Football.
The feeling since then has been overwhelming in opposition to the plans.
And Klopp, who says FSG made an error of judgement, thinks it’s time for the pundits to back off.
“Look – it hurt a lot. Our owners made a mistake but they know it. What I didn’t like in that moment was [people] went in on us. We didn’t even know about it,” said Klopp.
Before adding: “We are still in a pandemic. All the pundits need to calm down. No one wanted it [the ESL] but the people who made the decisions know they made a mistake.”
Klopp made one change to the starting XI with Salah returning. Milner dropped back down to the bench. Curtis Jones was also back on the substitutes’ bench following injury.
The Liverpool midfielder was asked about Liverpool’s chances of making the top four, he said: “I think it’s important that we concentrate on ourselves and our level of performance and if we do that then hopefully we’ll win the games that we need to win.”
“By doing that, hopefully it can put pressure on other teams but you only do that by concentrating on your own games.
“We know we need a bit of help but hopefully we can help ourselves by putting in good performances, getting three points and create a bit of pressure on the top four.”
Liverpool team: Alisson, Trent, Fabinho, Kabak, Robertson, Thiago, Gini, Jota, Salah, Firmino, Mane.