Blaming BT Sport for injuries, slating Ajax’s muddy pitch and moaning about Manchester United’s penalty record… after claiming Alisson’s ‘cold feet’ could have caused his howlers against City, here’s the LONG list of Jurgen Klopp’s most bizarre excuses
- Liverpool were humbled in a 4-1 defeat by Manchester City on Sunday
- Jurgen Klopp blamed ‘cold feet’ for keeper Alisson Becker’s two major errors
- Previously wind, snow and the television broadcasters have all been at fault
If Liverpool were as inventive on the pitch as Jurgen Klopp is with making excuses, their Premier League title defence probably wouldn’t be over by February.
After another defeat at Anfield, this time a 4-1 humbling by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp leapt to the defence of goalkeeper Alisson Becker after two awful errors handed City two goals when the game was delicately poised at 1-1.
‘In the second goal he just mishit the ball,’ Klopp said. ‘There’s no real reason, maybe he had cold feet. It sounds funny but could be. But it’s still an opportunity to stick it in the stands. Ali has saved our life plenty of times, today he made two mistakes.’
Klopp has never shied away from offering a maverick excuse when things don’t work out for Liverpool and this season, with their title defence all but over by February, a fair few have been offered up. Sportsmail recounts the best from Klopp’s time as Liverpool boss…
Sunday was a painful day for Jurgen Klopp as Manchester City thrashed Liverpool 4-1
In the build-up to Sunday’s Anfield match, Klopp and Guardiola clashed over City’s fixture schedule, particularly the games over the Christmas period.
City’s December 28 encounter against Everton was cancelled on the day due to a number of positive tests that had been returned in the squad.
Lamenting Liverpool’s lack of a rest, Klopp pointed to City’s schedule and said: ‘I think City had a two-week break for Covid reasons.’
Those remarks upset Guardiola, who responded by saying: ‘Jurgen has to see the calendar again.
‘We had Covid and we played with 14 players at Stamford Bridge, but maybe I’m wrong and it was not two weeks, it was three or four weeks. When I see Jurgen I’ll say to him: how many weeks or days were we off?’
‘He knows it’s not true,’ said Guardiola. ‘Nobody in the Premier League has had two weeks off.’
After saying Manchester City ‘had a two-week break’ when a game was cancelled due to Covid-19, Klopp said Alisson had ‘cold feet’ when he made two errors for two City goals
MANCHESTER UNITED’S PENALTY RECORD
When Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat by Southampton at St Mary’s in January, Klopp was frustrated at the decision not to award a penalty for a foul on Sadio Mane.
And looking ahead to Liverpool’s upcoming encounter against United, Klopp said: ‘I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years. I’ve no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.’
Klopp was narrowly incorrect. At the time he made the claim, Liverpool had been awarded 30 penalties in 199 Premier League games overseen by the German since he took over in October 2015.
United, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, had been awarded 27 in his 75 matches since he came in first as a caretaker manager in December 2018.
Jurgen Klopp’s dismay at Liverpool not getting a penalty against Southampton led to him comparing his record with that of Manchester United’s
BT SPORT BLAMED FOR INJURIES AND FIXTURE PILE-UP
Earlier this season, Klopp was fuming at Liverpool being forced to play a Wednesday night Champions League match followed by an early Saturday Premier League encounter.
In this instance, Liverpool drew 1-1 with Brighton, with Pascal Gross equalising with a stoppage time penalty, after a 2-0 midweek defeat by Atalanta.
James Milner went off at the Amex with a hamstring injury and when asked by BT Sport’s Des Kelly about the extent of the issue, Klopp sarcastically said: ‘Congratulations.’
‘Not me personally,’ Kelly replied.
‘Well you work for them,’ Klopp told Kelly. ‘Ask Chris Wilder how we can work on that. I don’t know how often I have to say it, but you pick the 12:30 kick offs. Between now and December there is one more Wednesday, Saturday. These are difficult times. I am just saying it how it is. Wednesday to Saturday 12:30 is really dangerous.’
Klopp and Des Kelly embarked on a war of words after the Liverpool boss hit out at BT Sport
James Milner was the latest Liverpool man to be forced off with a hamstring strain at the Amex
WILDER TARGETED OVER FIVE SUBS ROW
Klopp’s reference to the Sheffield United manager alluded to their row over the push for five substitutes to be available to teams during the 2020-21 campaign. Klopp felt the Premier League should follow the lead of the other major European leagues and allow five subs due to the packed fixture schedule that sees teams playing catch-up after the Covid-19 enforced delay last year.
Wilder was one of the managers to come out against the idea, saying it favoured the bigger clubs and said Klopp was a world-class manager and a world-class politician, who cares about Liverpool. That’s all he cares about.’
Klopp soon hit back. In the same rant to BT, he said: ‘Chris Wilder or whoever says constantly that I am selfish. I think all the things he said show that he’s selfish.
‘I was in a similar situation when I worked at Mainz and it was all about staying in the league, but they have three subs and one point, if I am right.’
Klopp and Chris Wilder have clashed over the mooted use of five substitutions this season
AJAX’S MUDDY PITCH
Much to the bemusement of his opposite number and Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport, Klopp said Ajax’s muddy pitch had held them back in the 1-0 win over the Dutch giants in the Champions League earlier this season.
A first half own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico gave Liverpool an impressive three points away from home but Klopp still found fault in what he saw that night.
‘The pitch was really tricky, it was deep, muddy a little bit,’ Klopp said. ‘Maybe you can’t see it from outside, but it was like this because both teams looked really exhausted pretty early.’
Klopp said a muddy pitch hindered Liverpool in their 1-0 Champions League over Ajax
He added in another interview with Ziggo Sport: ‘Surprisingly, the pitch was not good. I thought a football playing side would have a good pitch.’
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag rubbished the claims.
‘Klopp saying the pitch was bad? I don’t think the pitch was bad, no. Let’s hope we get a better pitch at Anfield then,’ he said.
Ferdinand disagreed with Klopp, saying: ‘Obviously strange to hear that the pitch was a bit soggy and stuff, which was sapping the energy in the legs, but they got through it and that’s all you need to ask of them.’
WEST BROM’S DRY PITCH
Going back a few years, Klopp was visibly furious when Liverpool surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with West Brom in the 2017-18 campaign.
His ire was not at his players, though. It was at the Baggies for refusing to water the pitch, and branded their comeback useless as it left them eight points from safety with three games to go in the season.
‘I don’t think that point will help West Brom massively, it is a complete waste of points. They don’t need it, we would have needed it,’ Klopp said. ‘They are happy now, we are not happy. We stay in the league, they don’t stay in the league – it is a strange situation.’
Klopp blamed a dry pitch for Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against West Brom back in 2018
But he turned on Sky Sports reporter Patrick Davidson in his immediate post-match interview when the Liverpool boss how watering the pitch would have helped.
‘You proved you never played football obviously,’ Klopp said. ‘It makes a massive difference. If the pitch is dry, you can pass the ball not really through three or four yards. That is for all teams in the world, if they play football.
‘If you do it like West Brom, the ball is constantly in the air and you do not need a wet pitch. But that is how it is and we have to deal with that.
‘And they can do it next year, playing football with a dry pitch in the Championship. So that is how it is and we have to deal with it.’
Don’t forget the wind! Klopp has often blamed that for Liverpool’s struggles since taking over as Anfield boss in October 2015.
The most notable example was in 2017 when Southampton beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield in the semi-final second leg of the League Cup to reach the final.
‘First half, it was difficult – the wind was really strange, it was difficult to handle,’ he told reporters. ‘You saw one or two balls when the ball stopped in a moment when nobody knew about it. That was difficult for a football-playing side.
‘I said a few times when I came here about the wind and everybody was laughing, but today was really difficult, really difficult to play football with this wind.’
Klopp said the wind hindered Liverpool in their 2017 EFL Cup loss to Southampton at Anfield
In January 2019, Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester at Anfield and Klopp was again left frustrated by the weather conditions. This time, it was snow that was to blame.
‘You saw that the ball didn’t roll really,’ Klopp said. ‘If you then have the ball pretty much for 70 to 80 per cent of the time it makes life really uncomfortable. The only problem is if it stays on the pitch and that was actually the case.’
Liverpool took the lead through an early Sadio Mane strike but Harry Maguire levelled for the Foxes.
But when the game finished 1-1, Klopp said that the snow had held Liverpool back in the game
BROADCASTERS ‘STOPPED ADDED TIME’
VAR was a bone of contention for Klopp even when it was being trialled. Back in 2018, the technology was used for Liverpool’s FA Cup encounter against West Brom, which Liverpool lost 2-1.
His dismay this time came from the amount of stoppage time added on at the end of the first half – he believed it was meant to be far longer than the four minutes that were given.
‘What I heard was that the actual extra time in the first half should have been 10 minutes,’ Klopp said. ‘It was only four minutes. I heard that television said it’s not longer than four minutes.
‘Of course that’s not possible, you can’t cut match time because there is something else to broadcast. I don’t know what was on afterwards, maybe the news or something. It was 10 minutes and so you need to play 10 minutes longer. You cannot say: “It’s now a little bit too long.”’
BT Sport said they had no influence over how much stoppage time is awarded during matches.
Klopp was left unhappy with the broadcasters when Liverpool lost to West Brom in 2018
REFEREE INTERRUPTS MOMENTUM
Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham in February 2019 and Klopp felt that decisions from the referee disrupted his side’s flow of the game.
Sadio Mane had put Liverpool ahead with a goal in the first half that saw James Milner contribute from an offside position in the build-up play.
Klopp felt referee Kevin Friend over compensated with decisions in the second half to make up for the error.
‘He knew it (Liverpool’s goal was offside) for sure at half-time,’ Klopp said. ‘Then you saw a lot of strange situations. They were not decisive but just rhythm breakers. That obviously didn’t help us.
‘If I’ve made a mistake in the first half, I don’t want to open the gap even more as a human being.’
Klopp was unimpressed with referee Kevin Friend when Liverpool drew at West Ham in 2019
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