Tensions Mount As Klopp Eyes Euro Boost

Assailed by mounting criticism from frustrated fans, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp needs to mastermind a sustained challenge in the Champions League to keep the doubters at bay.

With Liverpool lagging 12 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City despite Saturday’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield, Klopp could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief that Slovenian minnows Maribor are the next visitors to Anfield on Wednesday.

Having failed to win a trophy in his two-year reign and already out of the League Cup, Klopp has had to face some awkward questions as Liverpool struggle to get back on track after a spluttering start to the season.

The knives were out for Klopp following the recent 4-1 thrashing at Tottenham, with pundits and fans suggesting Liverpool are no better off than when the German’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers was in charge.

It must have been especially worrying for Klopp that victory against Huddersfield was played in a muted atmosphere punctuated by moans from the tetchy Anfield crowd.

Given Liverpool’s rich history — which includes 18 English titles and five European Cups — Klopp fears his club’s supporters now have unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved in a football world far different than the club’s heyday.

Liverpool’s net spends of £54 million ($71 million, 61 million euros) in the last transfer window was dwarfed by the sums splashed out by title rivals Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

“The problem is here, the moment things don’t work out, we get compared with the past,” Klopp complained.

“They wreck the confidence of the players when they say things like, ‘You are not good enough’. It’s a problem.”

Against that difficult backdrop, Klopp might find a long run in the Champions League — a competition that stirs the emotions of Reds fans like no other — is his best chance of changing the mood music at Anfield.

Liverpool is well placed to qualify for the last 16 after taking five points from their first three matches.

Home truths
A 7-0 demolition of Maribor in their previous fixture took them to the top of Group E, also featuring Sevilla and Spartak Moscow.

But to make an impact in the latter stages of a tournament Liverpool last won in 2005, Klopp, who took Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013, must solve a couple of pressing problems.

For much of his reign, the 50-year-old has been hamstrung by his failure to plug the leaks in Liverpool’s defense.

The Reds have been breached with alarming regularity again this season and have already conceded 16 times in the league — three more than any other team in the top six.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep Klopp awake at night, the German has also been frustrated by Liverpool’s issues at the other end, where his richly gifted forwards have repeatedly spurned chances to kill off opponents.

Aware that Liverpool’s season was in danger of spiraling out of control, Klopp responded by delivering a few home truths to his players ahead of the Huddersfield game.

“Against Tottenham, we made mistakes and got criticised. This is what it means to be at a big club,” Liverpool defender Joel Matip said.

“We know we did it wrong and he (Klopp) didn’t hold back, he said it directly. You have to speak about these things honestly and that’s what he did.

“He said it was not good enough, he spoke very honestly about the things that have to change.”

Klopp’s blast inspired Liverpool’s first win in four league games, but whether that helps turn the jeers back to cheers remains to be seen.

 

Source: AFP

“We Will Be Title Challengers” – Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is adamant they will be title challengers over the long-term.

Even though Liverpool have now won just one of their last eight matches, the manager explained that he has seen enough this season to believe they will threaten the sides at the summit of the league.

Klopp said: “We have to do whatever is necessary and we will be challenges. We will be challengers for the next few years, no problem.

“We showed big heart, we were brave. I thought we were smart in doing the right thing at the right moment but in the end, it didn’t work out.

“I am not overly-positive, I am not crazy but I really see we are still good, and that is what I try to push. People around the stadium today saw a game they wanted to see — but they all had Liverpool shirts on.”

 

Klopp Vows To Never Give Up

The Liverpool Coach Jurgen Klopp insists he won’t stop attacking principles despite Liverpool’s recent struggles.

Klopp’s team has gone four games without any win and fell out of the League Cup at Leicester this week.

The Reds have conceded 10 goals in that spell, sparking criticism of Klopp’s defenders and claims his commitment to all-out attack has left them too exposed.

Klopp concedes Liverpool’s defence needs to improve, but the Liverpool manager has no intention of changing his philosophy.

With Liverpool returning to Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday, Klopp made it clear he will not allow his players to start adopting a more conservative approach.

“In the beginning, it was so nice, how fluent we are, how creative we are. We are still fluent and still creative but we don’t score, so it’s a big problem,” Klopp said.

“If you would ask me what would you prefer: ‘Do you want your team perfect in defending set-pieces but don’t know how to play football or would you prefer the other way round?’ – I still would take this second one.

“In the moment it feels like we solved it but in the situation, you can see again we are back to old patterns or how we did it a few weeks before.

“What we have at the moment because of the situation is that everybody wants to help where the first ball is.

“We come too close together in the situation where the first ball is going after a throw-in and it means for the second ball we don’t have a good formation.

“We need to get more natural in these things because it’s not that difficult, to be honest, but it happens too often.

“Now we have to work and then it will be even more difficult to create something against us.”

 

Klopp Frustrated With Club Miscues

Jurgen Klopp admitted he is getting sick of Liverpool’s defensive miscues after they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Leicester in the League Cup third round.

Klopp’s side crashed out as careless play allowed Shinji Okazaki and Islam Slimani to score for Leicester in the second half at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets this season and have been criticised for letting teams off the hook.

Reds boss Klopp admitted he is now becoming fed up of the sloppy performances which have left his side without a win in four matches.

“After the first goal you saw the heads from Leicester went up, that was a bigger difference,” Klopp said.

“The game changes in moments like this, you have the chance to do it by yourself or sometimes you are on the wrong side and that’s how it is.

“But that we concede like this, that makes me really, really sick.

“We are still a good football team, I see it, but unfortunately it doesn’t feel (like that) at the moment because it’s a cup competition.

“We wanted to go into the next round and nobody is interested who plays the better in the first half.

“The story of this game is really easy to tell, we were the much better team in the first half, we played good football, we didn’t score, that’s sometimes part of football.

“But as long as we concede goals like we conceded today, then it is quite difficult.”

 

Klopp Keeps Making Liverpool Laughable – Shearer

Alan Shearer England legend has slammed Jurgen Klopp and his work with Liverpool.

The Liverpool club has dropped two points at home to Burnley on Saturday.

Shearer wrote for The Sun: “Jurgen Klopp is brilliant at the public relations game.

“Indeed, listen to him and you would be fooled into thinking everything has been on an upward curve since he joined Liverpool.

“Yes, he got them back into the Champions League with last season’s fourth place, which will have brought him plenty of boardroom bonus points.

“The truth, however, is that Liverpool is no different under boss Klopp than they were under Brendan Rodgers.

“Brilliant going forward but not so clever at the back.”

He also said of Klopp: “I am left wondering just what he does on the training ground when the same defensive errors are repeated week in, week out.

“What I witnessed on Saturday in their draw at home to Burnley was laughable.

“Much like when I analyzed their 3-3 draw at Watford on an opening day and, more recently, their 5-0 defeat against Manchester City.”

 

 

Klopp Warns Barca, Coutinho Is Not For Sale

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) speaks to Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 10, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS /

Jurgen Klopp has warned Barcelona that Liverpool has no intention of selling Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho at any price.

Barca wants Coutinho to replace Neymar following the Brazilian’s world record £200 million ($260 million, 222 million euros) transfer to Paris Saint Germain earlier this month.

The Spanish club is reported to have increased their bid for Coutinho to £90 million this week after two previous offers were rejected by the Premier League side.

With Barca cash rich following Neymar’s move and Coutinho said to be keen on a move, there is every chance they will eventually test Liverpool’s resolve with an offer in excess of £100 million.

Barca believes Coutinho can step in for Neymar alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in a star-studded front three, and could also provide cover for 33-year-old Andres Iniesta in midfield.

But Liverpool manager Klopp remains adamant the 25-year-old will stay at Anfield no matter what Barca are prepared to pay.

“We want to have the best possible team. This means keeping the guys we have,” Klopp told Sky in Germany.

“Liverpool is not a club that needs to sell. That is set in stone. So what they pay in the end doesn’t matter.

“From a financial standpoint, there’s no threshold of pain.”

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5 million in 2013, signed a new five-year deal with the Merseyside outfit in January that did not include a buy-out clause.

He was their leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions last term, a season that saw Klopp’s men qualify for the Champions League with a fourth place finish in the Premier League.

Liverpool opens the new Premier League campaign against Watford on Saturday.

But Coutinho could be sidelined at Vicarage Road, having received treatment this week for a back injury.

Klopp Faces Test Season Of Undiluted Talent

Under pressure to turn tantalising potential into tangible prizes, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp face the acid test of their talents this season.

Despite being feted as teams on the rise, Tottenham and Liverpool have yet to win a single trophy under their current managers.

Pochettino has been in charge at Tottenham since 2014, while Klopp is in his third season with Liverpool, making the forthcoming campaign a watershed moment for both bosses.

After finishing third in the Premier League in 2015 and second last season, Tottenham suddenly find themselves in danger of being stuck in reverse at a time when they should be putting their foot on the gas.

Building his team around England stars Harry Kane and Dele Alli and, with Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Son Heung-Min all influential in their own right, Pochettino has assembled a group capable of beating any side in the country on their day.