Liverpool boss insists his inconsistent team should only be judged at end of the season
A fourth defeat in 12 Premier League games last weekend continued a theme of inconsistency in a miserable run for Klopp’s side. But in an impassioned ‘state of the nation address’ – the Liverpool coach spoke uninterrupted for over six minutes vowing to revive his club – Klopp dismissed the idea he has been sapped of energy and said it is premature to claim Liverpool are experiencing the ‘end of an era’.
“We are obviously all out there and do the job in public and I think the judgment for this will be later in the season or maybe at the end of the season where we say, ‘ok, obviously now that is it for this group of players or whatever. For this manager if you want’,” said Klopp, ahead of tonight’s final Champions League group game against Napoli.
“The question will be asked then, but in the moment it is not 100 per cent fair to judge the team – that means the squad – because we never had them available. Especially now up front, top quality, which is not helpful. That doesn’t mean the others are not top quality but with the amount of games we had we would usually make changes and we can’t do that.
“It is a very similar situation in midfield for a long time, plenty of players who were out came back and then out. We had it pretty much everywhere. Even if it is unfair, it is fine, it is normal, that’s our life, you are absolutely right to ask these questions but we have to answer that later on.
“We are all out there to be judged. It is completely fine – manager, players – that is how life is in professional football. We have to go through this and if you want to get out of something first of all you have to go through it. That is what we are doing. Now we can say it – it was never a quick fix and now it looks not a quick fix.”
There is no shortage of theories for Liverpool’s current demise, ranging from the obvious such as the poor form or absence of key players, the accusation that the club erred by failing to sign a young, dynamic central midfielder last summer, and the more speculative claims that Klopp has lost his mojo after seven years.
“People look at me and they will say he looks tired. That is normal. But I am not,” said Klopp.
“I am not and I cannot give that excuse. My job is not only being here in the moment when the sun is shining and someone gives us a trophy. My job is also to be here when we are in a really rough period and I will do that, with all I have and if possible even more, 100 per cent. I am ready to play against Napoli but I didn’t play against Leeds physically.
“The whole thing starts with winning the first challenge. That is the first step in the right direction and go from there. I am ready for that. The people gave me the sign after the game that they are ready for it as well because it was obviously not the longest lap of appreciation we ever had but when we went to the stands you could hear the people sing or whatever. Then in that moment you realise, OK it is really special. Let us just use this and go from here.
“It is a rough moment, no doubt about that, and no one is flying here like life is great but there is only one chance to face it: go for it.” Asked what he wanted to see from his side against Napoli, considering they are already qualified for the knockout stage, Klopp said: “Fight.”
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