Klopp says Liverpool are not changing the style that has them in title contention

Manager’s sparing use of Shaqiri and Keïta in recent weeks has prompted claims he is not taking sufficient risks to win points

 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: he insists he has not curbed Liverpool’s attacking nature.   Photograph:  Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: he insists he has not curbed Liverpool’s attacking nature. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

 

Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool would resemble a “little weak flower” should they change the style that has put them in title contention and Xherdan Shaqiri’s peripheral role is not because of caution on his part.

The Liverpool manager took exception to criticism of his tactics and substitutions last weekend at Everton, where his side slipped behind Manchester City for the first time since December 7th having played an equal number of games.

Klopp revisited the issue in the build-up to Burnley’s visit to Anfield on Sunday, insisting he has not curbed Liverpool’s attacking nature in recent away matches and it would be a sign of weakness to do so with only nine games left.

“We do go for it, but that doesn’t mean we throw 11 players in their box, hope we score and meet them again at the halfway line,” said Klopp. “That is not how it works. That is why I was a bit disappointed in the last press conference because we don’t play PlayStation, and you all know that. It is a sign of being desperate – ‘let’s try that way, oh that doesn’t work, let’s try this way.’ The way we did it brought us where we are, and if someone thinks we should now be 10 points ahead of City I can’t help this person.

“We are trying for the first time [for the title] and for the first time we are not in a bad position. Let’s do what we did that brought us here plus more intensity if possible, with a positive atmosphere around us, and not be this little weak flower.

“If there is a chance for us with winning all our games, getting as many points as possible, then we will be there. The target is to win the game, not to go nuts in the game.”

Accusations

Klopp’s sparing use of Shaqiri and, to a lesser extent, Naby Keïta in recent weeks has prompted accusations of not taking sufficient risks to win precious league points. Shaqiri had a major influence on Liverpool’s 100 per cent win rate in December, but has played only 210 minutes in the league in 2019 and was an unused substitute in the goalless draw at Goodison Park.

The Liverpool manager said : “Shaq had a little injury and was out. There was something with his back, and he needed a little time. I remember the moment when he got the injury – he won a heading challenge near the sideline. His body wasn’t used to that! It affected him but that’s all.

“With the line-up we had and system wise, it wasn’t difficult but we have to change a little bit if Shaq is playing. For the last few games we didn’t do that. He’s fully fit now.”

Klopp claimed Keïta was one of the first names on his team-sheet following the 3-0 win over Bournemouth last month, but the midfielder has played only 82 minutes in four matches since.

“We have to think about a lot of things before a game. We played quite a few teams with really good set-pieces, and we needed to make sure we had the right line-up and set-up for that as well. Naby is in a good moment and has trained well. That’s it.”

Comeback

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was substituted 41 minutes into his comeback for the under-23s as a precaution against a tight hamstring. The England international, sidelined since last April by a serious knee injury, was scheduled to play only 45 minutes against Derby on Friday but was withdrawn earlier after feeling his hamstring. Liverpool say the substitution was merely a precautionary measure.

– Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.