Georginio Wijnaldum accepts Jurgen Klopp’s decisions are made with the best interests of Liverpool at heart – but he admits he very much has a love-hate relationship with the German as a result of some of his team selections.
The Dutch midfielder, who has revealed the role he played at Anfield in helping the club decide to move for defensive lynchpin Virgil van Dijk in a club record deal, did not start Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona last season, before he came off the bench to score twice in the historic 4-0 win, and he admits the decision irritated him.
“With the manager, it is more or less hate and love,” Wijnaldum confessed. “I am sure he has the best interests at heart with every player in the squad.
“But sometimes you are so involved in a match and the manager is still chasing you. Then you just boil over sometimes – and, in my case, I do get angry with him.
“I still don’t know if what happened against Barcelona was his real plan. But that night I was so angry and so disappointed that he did not start me.
“Looking back, we can say things worked out all right. We will never know how it might have gone if the manager had started me.”
Liverpool went on to lift the Champions League after a 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid and assessing how the success has changed the club, Wijnaldum continued: “Winning the Champions League has given us all peace of mind.
“Now we know what it’s like to win the biggest trophy of them all – and we just want to keep going from here and add even more titles.”
Liverpool have won all four of their Premier League matches so far this season and have emerged as the early pacesetters in the Premier League.
The Reds have the chance to add another trophy to their cabinet in December when they play in the Club World Cup in Qatar, but one team’s president already says the challenge of facing the European champions will not scare his side in any way.
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