Klopp: Crit­ics of squad play­ers are suf­fer­ing from short mem­o­ries

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Premier League - By Chris Bas­combe

Jurgen Klopp has launched a ro­bust de­fence of Liver­pool’s back-up play­ers, ac­cus­ing those de­mand­ing that he in­vest heav­ily to im­prove the depth of his ti­tle-win­ning squad of hav­ing short mem­o­ries.

Divock Origi and Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain were dis­ap­point­ing in Sun­day’s 2-0 vic­tory over As­ton Villa. Jan­uary sign­ing Takumi Mi­namino is still set­tling at the club and Naby Keita has shown signs of prom­ise de­spite in­jury is­sues.

But there is a gen­eral sense that Liver­pool’s at­tack­ing panache is com­pro­mised when any of the front three are un­avail­able.

“You can be crit­i­cal and you will be crit­i­cal in fu­ture. It is nor­mal peo­ple for­get,” Klopp said ahead of tonight’s game at Brighton. “We played against Barcelona, for ex­am­ple, with a lot of changes and played an out­stand­ing game. One of the best games for this team ever. What­ever your first XI is, and I have an idea, th­ese [other] boys did the job.

“On a day against As­ton Villa when the team is not per­form­ing at the high­est level, when the pitch is dry like the Sa­hara and the wind is blow­ing like you are on a ship on the sea, it is re­ally dif­fi­cult to make an im­pres­sion.

“Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain, if he is not in your first XI, he has played in­cred­i­ble games for this club. He won the game al­most alone against [Manch­ester] City a year or two ago. I can­not judge peo­ple on a game in which the whole team is not per­form­ing great. I see them in train­ing and I know they are more than op­tions for me.”

Klopp re­it­er­ated that Liver­pool did not ex­pect to make sign­ings un­til the fi­nan­cial im­pact of Covid-19 was clearer. “No­body knows what the fu­ture will hold for all of us, so how can we make de­ci­sions, re­ally ex­pen­sive de­ci­sions, about how we deal with it?”

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