Jurgen Klopp is a brilliant football manager and prone to some unforgettable interview comments, but the German is also quite adept at finding bizarre excuses for poor performances from his Liverpool side.
After watching the Reds stumble to an opening draw with Fulham at the weekend, the Liverpool boss was quick to criticise the condition of the Cottager’s pitch.
Klopp’s comments that the surface was too ‘dry’ in west London were soon seized upon, with Fulham responding with a not-so-subtle retort from the club’s social media admin.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) August 7, 2022
Following another incident in which Klopp conveniently overlooked his side’s shortcomings, we remember five of the German’s most memorable excuses.
A personal favourite of Klopp, the wind – alongside Manchester City – has been one of the biggest obstacles in Liverpool’s pursuit of major trophies.
Two notable times blustery conditions have impacted the Reds have come in Merseyside derbies, with dropped points against Everton often attributed to weather-related measures out of the club’s control.
“[It was a] very difficult game for different reasons,” Klopp said following a goalless draw with the Toffees in March 2019.
“I know people don’t like it when I say it, but the wind came from all different directions, the ball was in the air a lot.”
That result was a fifth draw in seven games for Liverpool, whose battle against the breeze ended in dropped points. Klopp repeated his take that the wind was indeed an Everton supporter two seasons later, as the Toffees secured a first win at Anfield in more than two decades.
You might be forgiven for thinking that three injuries inside the opening 43 minutes might be a hinderance for the side forced into changes.
Not Klopp, however, who had an alternative take after a goalless draw at Manchester United in February 2019.
After Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all had to be replaced inside the first half with hamstring injuries, Klopp commented that United’s enforced chances had actually impacted the rhythm of his side.
“It’s difficult. It was a strange game,” Klopp said. “We started really, really well, exactly as we wanted to start. Then the injury crisis started as well. That obviously cost us our rhythm. It was like: ‘What’s going on now?’
“United played with a completely new midfield, pretty much a new three up front. We lost the rhythm and couldn’t get it back.”
Alisson’s cold feet
Alisson’s arrival is regarded as one of the most transformative signings of Klopp’s reign, with a drop from his usual excellence leaving the Liverpool boss scrambling for excuses in February 2021.
The Brazilian channelled his inner Massimo Taibi in a disastrous display against Manchester City in February 2021, as Alisson’s errors saw the Reds thrashed 4-1 at Anfield.
Not content with gifting the visitors a goal with one poor pass, the goalkeeper proceeded to repeat the trick soon after with another careless clearance as City ran riot on Merseyside.
It was a bad day at the office for #LFC 'keeper Alisson…😬
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 7, 2021
Klopp’s search for some sort of reasoning behind the Brazilian’s brain-farts resulted in a clear conclusion – cold feet.
“In the second goal he just mishit the ball,” Klopp said after the goalkeeper’s gaffes.
“There’s no real reason, maybe he had cold feet. It sounds funny but could be.”
Liverpool’s kitman is now required to provide Alisson with two pairs of socks for all fixtures during the Premier League’s winter months…
Manchester City have often appeared an unstoppable force in recent seasons and it’s little wonder given heaven’s clouds are reportedly adorned in sky blue scarves and inflatable bananas.
For God, of course, is a Manchester City fan and among his many tasks is ensuring his beloved blues remain above Liverpool in the Premier League title race.
“I am convinced now that God is a Man City fan and that he will do everything to stop us,” Klopp said after a defeat to Everton in February 2021. “You can’t win against God.”
Klopp expressed his unhappiness after Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup in 2018, claiming the television producers cut short his side’s loss to West Brom at Anfield.
Jay Rodriguez scored twice as West Brom won 3-2 at Anfield, in an eventful fourth-round clash dominated by VAR decisions.
Klopp claimed the continued chaos surrounding VAR should have led to ten minutes of added time in the first half, but accused BT Sport’s production team of cutting the contest short to keep on top of TV scheduling.
“What I heard was that the actual extra time in the first half should have been ten minutes,” he said after the Reds’ cup exit in January 2018. “It was only four.”
“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 ten minutes and so you need to play ten minutes longer. You can’t say: ‘It’s now a little bit too long.’”
BT Sport’s match director was quick to shut down the lunacy of Klopp’s comments, insisting that any attempt to influence a match official would be both ‘unprofessional’ and ‘utterly futile’.