Jurgen Klopp can extend Liverpool’s lead in the Premier League in Wednesday’s game at West Ham United. However, it has recently caused a stir with an unpopular decision.
Jurgen Klopp needs explanation – such situations are quite rare for the manager of the star team of champions league winner FC Liverpool. On Tuesday, however, the successful coach at the match day press conference before the Premier League catch-up match at West Ham United (Wednesday, 8.45pm on LIVETICKER) was ready, as his announcement that he would skip the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town on 4 February with his top eleven also led to criticism.
“I have to make decisions in the best interests of the team that are not popular,” Klopp said. Instead of the stars around Virgil van Dijk, the Reds U23s will compete against the third division. Klopp: “We want to move on to the next round and I have confidence in our U23s.”
Reserve coach Neil Critchley has every confidence that it would not have been an option for him to take over the under-23 coach, even in the replay, according to Klopp: “That’s not how football works.”
The English FA said in a statement monday that the first winter break in English professional football was based on a long-term agreement: “Before the start of the 2019/20 season, all clubs have agreed that reruns of the fourth round of the FA Cup should, if necessary, take place in the first week of the mid-season break.”
The fact that Klopp and his team will have to play again against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup because of Sunday’s 2-2 draw has not been taken into account.
FA Cup: Deep criticism from Jurgen Klopp
It is clear to Klopp that he sees the appointment of a replay in the FA Cup rather than a penalty shoot-out as an anachronism. “Shrewsbury would have the opportunity to progress in the penalty shootout as well. It’s also an added burden for a third-tier club that needs to be sidelined,” said the Liverpool coach.
But Klopp has not only been criticised by the English fael. Accrington Stanley club boss Andy Holt has been highly critical of the 52-year-old. “It’s a shame,” tweeted Holt, owner of the third division, who dropped out of the FA Cup in November.
“I’d get out of bed just to play the replay. Because it’s the right decision. I don’t care about the fatigue I’ve had,” said the club boss. “I would give something for him instead of being an greedy, selfish guy,” he added.
“Juergen, you’re making yourself look ridiculous. You’re destroying your reputation. You’re bringing down the FA Cup. You’re going to kill us,” said Holt of Shrewsbury, the other outsider who he says relies on the proceeds of the cup competition and also deserves the game of the year from a foreign perspective.
Liverpool want to build leadership in the Premier League
For Klopp, it is crucial that he takes full advantage of the two-week break to regenerate his proteges. “I take responsibility for my players,” the cult coach said.
He is aware that a similar situation had already occurred in December 2019 following the Club World Cup. Within 24 hours, league cup quarter-final matches against Aston Villa and the Club World Cup in Qatar were on the agenda. Liverpool’s youngsters lost 0-5 at Villa, with stars Klopp winning the club’s World Cup title.
Wednesday’s game gives Klopp’s side the chance to extend their lead in the table to 19 points ahead of champions Manchester City. However, he had to abandon goalkeeper Sadio Mane due to a muscle injury; The Senegalese will also be absent on Saturday against Southampton.