Sam Allardyce has laid the blame for Liverpool’s glut of injuries at the German feet of Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds currently have 11 players unavailable through injury, with six players suffering hamstring injuries; Dejan Lovren and Phillipe Coutinho were the latest to fall on Tuesday night.
Former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness said on Sky Sports: “A new manager comes in and all the chat was about high press further up the field. It’s hard work to do that for 90 minutes. You can do it in bursts. You can do it for an hour, you can do it for 70 minutes, but to do it for 90 minutes is a big demand on your legs.
“I just think they’ve fallen foul of that. It’s not a coincidence, five hamstrings. To have them all at one time, I think they have to look at what they’re doing in training.”
Allardyce – who wants a Rooney Rule to give British managers more chance of getting Premier League jobs – has since appeared on TalkSport and said:
“That is him [Klopp] asking his players to play a high-tempo pressing game from the top end. It’s great that the players have been able to carry it out but I think it has kicked in now.
“I don’t think Jürgen has realised just how ferocious our league is at this period of time and because he has asked for that extra high energy, that extra 10 yards, these lads are fatiguing now with so many games in such a short period of time and are picking up these muscle strains.
“They are highly trained athletes more than ever before, and they become more susceptible to injuries by the amount of work they do in a game now.”
Allardyce called Klopp a “soft German” last week because he complained about a tackle on Mamadou Sakho that left him with a knee injury.
Liverpool winger Adam Lallana has denied that Liverpool’s intense training is to blame for the team’s injury problems.
“We have had a change of manager this season. When that happens lads look to impress more and give more,” said Lallana. “But I don’t think these injuries have got anything to do with any changes to our training.
“We’ve had so many games recently that we’ve mainly been doing recovery sessions between games, so it’s not as if the training has been really intensive. You can’t blame that.
“Sometimes you are just unlucky with injuries and we’ve had a lot of bad luck recently.
“I know from my time at Liverpool that we’ve got a world-class medical team here. We certainly can’t point the finger at anyone.”