Too windy, too muddy, too dry! Jurgen Klopp has a LONG list of excuses for Liverpool’s poor displays over the years – with not playing at a ‘proper stadium’ the latest in their Real Madrid defeat
- Jurgen Klopp never hesitates to make an excuse for a poor Liverpool display
- He said his side weren’t playing at a ‘proper stadium’ during loss to Real Madrid
- Over the years he has moaned of conditions that were ‘too dry’ or ‘too windy’
- The German once claimed an Alisson mistake was due to him having ‘cold feet’
- Sportsmail trawls through a lengthy list of excuses Klopp has made in charge
Jurgen Klopp has been one of the most memorable managers the Premier League has ever known since he turned up at Liverpool in 2015 – but it hasn’t always been for the best reasons.
The German can deliver a brilliant one-liner as well as a few laughs during his post-match press conferences, but he’s also capable of raising more than a few eyebrows while trying to find an excuse for a poor performance.
Klopp has a true winner’s mentality and will not hold back from venting his fury after a defeat – and you’d often be hard pressed to find an instance where he simply admitted his side were well beaten without pointing out any further factors.
That trend continued after the Reds slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals – complaining his side were distracted by a ‘strange’ atmosphere inside Real’s training ground, while also slamming the referee’s decisions as ‘unfair’.
Sportsmail looks back on a huge list of bizarre excuses Klopp has made during his time in charge at Anfield.
Liverpool Jurgen Klopp has a long list of excuses to explain poor Liverpool performances
January 2017 – Too windy
It seems the weather conditions must be perfect for Liverpool or it could scupper Klopp’s high-intensity style, and after losing to Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals, Klopp threw caution to the wind with his excuses for the 2-0 aggregate loss.
Shane Long’s last minute strike had sealed a place at Wembley for the Saints, but according to Klopp, the conditions made it difficult for his ‘football-playing side’.
‘First half, it was difficult – the wind was really strange, it was difficult to handle,’ he said after the game.
He said their EFL Cup loss to Southampton in 2017 was down to windy weather at Anfield
Klopp also used the wind as an excuse for their FA Cup exit to Wolves in January 2019
‘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.’
It wasn’t the first time he blamed windy weather, as he claimed their FA Cup exit to Wolves in January 2019 was in part due to the wind that made life tough for his technical team.
‘The wind didn’t help, players struggled to control ball,’ he told the media.
April 2018 – Too dry
No wind to sweep Liverpool away on this occasion, but instead an issue with the playing surface.
The Reds had gone 2-0 up against West Brom at the Hawthorns before the Baggies pegged them back to secure a 2-2 draw. The three points looked certain after Danny Ings netted early on before Mo Salah made it 2-0 with less than 20 minutes to go, but Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondon put together a late salvo to steal a point.
Was it because of Liverpool’s lapse in concentration and failure to sit on a comanding lead? Nope. Instead, Klopp pointed the finger at West Brom and their failure to water the pitch.
He insisted it was easier for the home side to play on the ‘dry’ surface because they play lots of aerial balls.
He took aim at West Brom for not watering the pitch at half time as they drew 2-2 in 2018
‘It was a difficult game, especially after the pitch got drier and drier, we had the ball constantly and it’s not so easy,’ Klopp said. ‘West Brom obviously decided not to water the pitch at half-time again. It was quite difficult.’
When probed further about his reasoning by reporters, Klopp said it made ‘a massive difference’ and goaded West Brom by predicting they would be relegated.
‘I was not happy with the pitch,’ he added. ‘You never played football, obviously. It makes a massive difference. If you’re like West Brom, the ball constantly in the air, you don’t need a wet pitch.
‘That’s how it is and we have to deal with that. They can do it next year, playing with a dry pitch in the Championship.’
January 2019 – Too snowy
A hat-trick of weather concerns as frost frustration stifled the team during their 1-1 home draw to Leicester City.
A huge game in their bid to win the title in hte 2018-19 campaign, Liverpool opened the lead through an early Sadio Mane strike but Harry Maguire’s second half display ensured the Foxes would walk away from Anfield with a point.
Liverpool could only draw 1-1 against Leicester in January 2019 in a blow to their title hopes
Klopp believes the snow on the turf stopped the ball from rolling and disrupted their style
After failing to extend their lead over rivals Man City, Klopp said the snow on the turf stopped the ball from rolling and disrupted their attempts to keep possession as a result – despite having more than 70 per cent of the ball.
‘You saw that the ball didn’t roll really,’ he 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.’
February 2019 – Referee ‘rhythm breakers’
Liverpool were fortunate with officiating calls in another draw – a 1-1 stalemate at West Ham – with Sadio Mane lucky not to be flagged for offside having put his side ahead in the first half after James Milner’s cross.
The Hammers grabbed their equaliser just minutes later through Michail Antonio, with the Londoners holding firm to secure a vital point – and while Klopp’s team were not punished by any decisions, the German took issue with what he felt were ‘strange situations’ that broke their rhythm.
He suggested that the referee in charge was attempting to make up for his error to allow Mane’s goal by balancing the play.
The German was unhappy with officials after ‘strange situations’ in 1-1 draw at West Ham
‘We had good moments, coming through the channels and scored the goal, which I’ve now been told is offside,’ Klopp said. ‘This explains a little bit the second half, because I think the referee knew at half-time.
‘He knew it for sure at half-time, and 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.’
October 2020 – Too muddy
We’ve had windy, dry, and snowy – it wouldn’t be complete without muddy too, would it? Even though Liverpool emerged victorious in their Champions League group stage clash at Ajax – winning 1-0 – Klopp was keen to point out the challenge of playing on their pitch.
Nicolas Tagliafico’s own goal was enough for Liverpool to claim all three points but the German believes the poor condition of the turf led to both sides becoming ‘exhausted’.
‘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.’
Despite guiding his side to a 1-0 win at Ajax, he made sure to express displeasure at the pitch
Klopp said the turf was ‘really tricky’ and ‘a bit muddy’ which he claims tired both sides out
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.
November 2020 – Television tirade
Speaking to Klopp after a bad Liverpool display is often a tough experience, as BT Sport’s Des Kelly discovered after their 1-1 draw to Brighton earlier in the season.
He had pointed out yet another injury suffered by the Reds – with James Milner going off to add to their fitness woes.
Klopp implied that Kelly and the broadcasters were to blame for ‘picking’ the hectic fixture schedule, and also took aim at Chris Wilder for failing to back him on his bid for clubs to be given five substitutes.
Klopp slammed BT Sport reporter Des Kelly and TV broadcasters last November as he accused them of causing Liverpool’s injury pile-up
‘Congratulations,’ he said after Kelly quizzed him about Milner’s injury.
‘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.’
February 2021 – Alisson gets cold feet
Perhaps the most strange excuse of them all.
It’s certainly a surprise when a goalkeeper as good as Alisson makes one mistake, so when he makes two identical gaffes in quick succession it should be nearly inexplainable.
But Klopp found words for his total lapses in concentration to gift two goals to Man City after blazenly passing the ball out during their 4-1 loss earlier this year, suggesting the Brazilian might have had ‘cold feet’.
Alisson made two glaring errors in Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat by Man City at the start of 2021
Klopp suggested he might have had ‘cold feet’ after twice passing the ball to the opposition
The German himself even acknowledged it was a ‘silly’ suggestion but insisted it ‘could be’ a reason for his errors.
‘We can’t hide them (the Alisson mistakes), we don’t have to talk around it. It’s true as well. We didn’t give a lot of options, especially in the first goal. In the second goal he just mis-hit the ball.
‘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. That’s how it is.’
April 2021 – ‘Not a proper stadium’
Finally we come to Klopp’s latest excuse against Real Madrid – unhappy that his side were playing at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano – the club’s training ground – instead of the Bernabeu and believes it created a ‘strange’ atmosphere for his players.
Los Blancos are currently playing at the makeshift stadium, which has a 6,000 capacity, while work is finished on refurbishing their famous arena.
He said Liverpool were distracted by a ‘strange’ atmosphere at Real Madrid’s training ground during their 3-1 Champions League loss
He admitted he was hopeful his players could spark a turnaround in the second leg of their Champions League tie next week when Madrid would visit a ‘proper stadium’ at Anfield.
‘It must be a really tricky task for Real Madrid at Anfield,’ Klopp said.
‘This was strange tonight because it was really difficult with the stadium (at Madrid’s training ground) but Anfield is at least a proper stadium and it will be good for us.’
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