Klopp chal­lenges Liverpool flops

Lesotho Times - - News -

WAT­FORD — Jur­gen Klopp chal­lenged his Liverpool flops to prove they have the stom­ach for a fight af­ter ca­pit­u­lat­ing in a woe­ful 3-0 de­feat against Wat­ford.

Klopp’s side fell apart af­ter a blun­der from Reds goal­keeper Adam Bog­dan was pun­ished by Wat­ford’s Nathan Ake in the third minute at Vicarage Road on Sun­day.

Show­ing lit­tle re­sis­tance against te­na­cious op­po­nents, Liverpool con­ceded a sloppy se­cond goal when Odion Ighalo bul­lied Martin Skr­tel into an­other mis­take in the 15th minute.

Liverpool never threat­ened a re­sponse as Wat­ford wrapped up their first home win over the Reds since 1986 when in-form Ighalo headed home in the clos­ing min­utes.

It was the heav­i­est de­feat of Klopp’s two-month reign and by far the worst per­for­mance.

Com­ing af­ter praise was heaped on the Ger­man and his play­ers fol­low­ing im­pres­sive wins at Manch­ester City and Southamp­ton, Klopp wants to see what kind of re­sponse Liverpool, with­out a win in four matches, can sum­mon now the go­ing is a lit­tle tougher.

“Af­ter Southamp­ton and Manch­ester City ev­ery­one thought ‘wow’. That was one part of what we can do. Now ev­ery­one saw the com­plete other side,” Klopp said.

“Maybe the truth is some­where in the middle, but I know how strong this team can be.

“We don’t feel good to­day of course. We came here to do some­thing re­ally dif­fer­ent from what you saw.

“We have a few days be­fore the next game and we will work on it.

“The easy game ev­ery­one wins. Now we have to win the dif­fi­cult ones.”

Klopp had no qualms about crit­i­cis­ing Bog­dan for his mis­take, but he felt ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg could have blown for a foul be­fore Ake scored be­cause he vir­tu­ally kicked the ball out of the goal­keeper’s hands.

“We made big­ger faults than the ref but in my opin­ion he had both hands on the ball so it is a foul,” Klopp said.

“Mis­takes can hap­pen, that is

“I wouldn’t say it’s the low­est mo­ment. I think it be­came pretty glum, if you like, un­der David Moyes and it was un­for­tu­nate. We weren’t play­ing well at the time,” Jones told Bri­tish me­dia.

“There’s no point say­ing we’ve played some good foot­ball this sea­son be­cause ul­ti­mately we’ve lost three games in a row — but we have in patches. We need to stick to­gether, there’s noth­ing else you can do.”

The Eng­land in­ter­na­tional be­came the lat­est United player to speak about the at­mos­phere at the club, af­ter goal­keeper David de Gea dis­missed re­ports of dress­ing room un­rest.

Van Gaal, who is book­maker Wil­liam Hill’s favourite in the sack race, has come un­der heavy crit­i­cism for his over-em­pha­sis on pos­ses­sion, but Jones be­lieves the Dutch­man is the right man to turn around the club’s for­tunes.

“The man­ager is do­ing all he can and is do­ing a ter­rific job. It’s not even ques­tion­able in the dress­ing room.

“The lads are ab­so­lutely fully fo­cused on per­form­ing well for the man­ager, the fans, our­selves weekin, week-out,” Jones said.

“The play­ers in there aren’t hid­ing be­hind any­one. We know full well we have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity. There’s no other way. The man­ager picks the team and the team has got to go out and do its best.”

United, who are fifth in the ta­ble, travel to take on 11th-placed Stoke City on Satur­day.

Full fix­tures Dec 26: Stoke v Man U, Liverpool v Le­ices­ter, Manch­ester City v Sun­der­land, Swansea City v West Brom, Chelsea v Wat­ford, As­ton Villa v West Ham, Bournemouth v Crys­tal Palace, Tot­ten­ham v Nor­wich, New­cas­tle v Ever­ton, Southamp­ton v Arse­nal.

Dec 28: Nor­wich v As­ton Villa, Ever­ton v Stoke, Crys­tal Palace v Swansea, West Bromwich Al­bion v New­cas­tle, Wat­ford v Tot­ten­ham, West Ham v Southamp­ton, Arse­nal v Bournemouth, Manch­ester United v Chelsea.

— AFP

rich build­ing with about 10 staff. One story says that it was Blat­ter who went to the bank to get a loan when they could not be paid.

But Fifa made about $5.7 bil­lion in the four years be­tween the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

Foot­ball’s world body now has 1,400 staff and is sit­ting on a cash moun­tain of about $1.5 bil­lion.

The worka­holic Blat­ter says his main achieve­ment has been to make foot­ball “uni­ver­sal” — the first World Cups in Asia (South Korea and Ja­pan in 2002, al­though the de­ci­sion was taken be­fore he be­came pres­i­dent) and Africa (South Africa in 2010) came in his ten­ure.

Hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars are given to na­tional fed­er­a­tions and in de­vel­op­ment grants.

But since the day he be­came pres­i­dent in 1998, ac­cu­sa­tions of skul­dug­gery have never been far from Fifa. The lat­est are over the award­ing of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Rus­sia and Qatar.

In 2006 he tried to stop a book on Fifa’s scan­dals be­ing pub­lished in Switzer­land.

And so the foot­ball world was di­vided un­til the Zurich ar­rests this year.

Just be­fore the Fifa elec­tion, Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic FA pres­i­dent Osiris Guz­man com­pared Blat­ter to Je­sus, Win­ston Churchill, Moses, Abra­ham Lin­coln and Martin Luther King. The Asian, African and North-cen­tral Amer­i­can con­fed­er­a­tions all backed him.

But Europe turned against Blat­ter. Uefa leader Pla­tini said Blat­ter lied when he said in 2011 that he would stand down when his fourth term ended in 2015.

Pla­tini, now an arch-ri­val, said Blat­ter could not bear a life of “empti­ness” with­out Fifa’s power and money. Blat­ter, mar­ried three times, has re­lied a lot on his daugh­ter Corinne in re­cent months.

“He has a way of mak­ing peo­ple de­pen­dent or in­debted to him, but not in a way that peo­ple re­gret it,” one Blat­ter con­fi­dant told AFP.

— AFP

Martin Skr­tel

GONE... Michel Pla­tini (left) and Sepp Blat­ter were banned eight years on Mon­day.

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