Klopp cites Arsenal in confrontational Sky Sports interview

Date published: Monday 23rd November 2020 8:32 - Matthew Stead

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp took Sky Sports and interviewer Geoff Shreeves to task over fixture scheduling after Liverpool suffered another injury.

Liverpool thrashed Leicester 3-0 at Anfield on Sunday in an emphatic showing despite the absences of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Mo Salah and others.

The Reds also lost Naby Keita at the start of the second half to what looked like a muscle injury as the influx of games continues to take its toll on players.

READ MORE: 16 Conclusions on Liverpool 3-0 Leicester

Klopp aired the same old complaints after the game in an interview that Sky Sports did not broadcast in the UK, but that was aired globally.

“It’s really tough how we discuss the necessity of changes. I can’t believe that. Why we change late is because we constantly have to think that somebody will go down with an injury,” he said. “We cannot change early, because we change early and the other one has an injury, and you end the game with nine players.

“It was never about us when I spoke about it. It’s about all the players, it’s about the England players, it’s about all the players who will play the European Championship next summer – if you [Sky] don’t start talking to BT, we’re all done. Sky and BT have to talk.

“If we keep playing on Wednesday and Saturday 12.30, I’m not sure if you’ll finish the season with 11 players. All the top six are the same. All the top six and seven. But I know [broadcasters] don’t care, and that’s the problem.”

Put to him by Shreeves that he is “wrong” to suggest Sky are to blame, Klopp immediately interjected.

“No, it’s not wrong because we discussed it already for a long time and nothing happens. Everybody tells me it’s difficult, ‘Ah, it’s difficult here, difficult there.’ But it’s really difficult for the players. That’s what is difficult. The rest is just a decision on a desk in an office. That doesn’t sound so difficult for me.

“But if we keep it like this and you want to see a spectacle…I’m happy about the game tonight but we lost another midfielder. You saw on the bench we don’t have a lot. That’s the situation. But it’s not about us. I can only say it one more time

[Shreeves tries to interrupt] “Whoever calls me selfish has to ask himself who is selfish. But it’s really not about that. I want to discuss these kind of things completely calm, the only problem is everybody, whatever I say, it might be my language, it’s like, ‘He talks about Liverpool.’

“I don’t talk about Liverpool. I talk about all the football players out there. Yesterday, [Gerard] Pique, massive knee injury. Today, maybe [Bukayo] Saka, I’m not sure, a knee injury – he played all three games for England during the international break.

“People tell us we can rotate – who? We have offensive players, the rest are kids. That’s how it is. It’s all OK, we fight with all we have, but if [broadcasters] do not start talking, you will see what happens.”

Shreeves responded: “I understand exactly what you’re saying, and you don’t sound as though you talk just about Liverpool, genuinely, you talk about the welfare of players and other players in the league as well.

The pair then talk over each other a little, before Shreeves adds: “The only point I would make, though, Jurgen, is that it’s not just the broadcasters.”

Bad idea.

“It’s a massive problem,” Klopp said, interrupting once more. “Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 is a broadcaster problem and nothing else.”

“But the clubs agreed those slots,” Shreeves replied.

“People tell me, if you want to change that then you need a shareholder meeting. For what? For what? And then you ask for money. For what?

“We have two teams who play Champions League on Tuesday night, and two who play Champions League on Wednesday night. Then we have teams who play Europa League on Thursday night. So what you do, because you pick first the team, then BT starts picking us, we play Wednesday night and we play the next game at 12.30.

“What are we doing now? We play against Atalanta on Wednesday and then 12:30 Brighton. It’s an early Christmas present. We will show up there shaking. I think about sending them the points. That’s how it is.

“We cannot change 10, 11 positions, that’s not possible. We can’t only show up, we have to win the football games.

“It’s exactly how it is. Gentlemen, start talking and start making decision. I know it’s not you…I like the relationship with you.”

Shreeves then snaps that olive branch in Klopp’s face.

“It’s more complex though, Jurgen. It’s not just the broadcasters, it involves a whole lot of people: the clubs who agree the contracts…”

Klopp, who was mid-interruption at the time, pauses for a second before launching an incisive counter-attack.

“If somebody tells me again about contracts I go really nuts, because the contracts are made not for a Covid season. We all have to adapt. You adapt, we adapt. You stand here with a face mask. We adapt to the situation. Would you have thought a year ago you’d ever go somewhere with a face mask and have to stand there and we cannot be close like this?

“Everything changed, but the contract with the broadcasters is still, ‘Nope, it says we have this, so we keep this.’ What?! Everything changed! the world world changed! That’s it.”


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