Jurgen Klopp has rubbished Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce’s claims that the Liverpool boss has exhausted his players by over-working them.
Allardyce has clashed with Klopp on several occasions since the German arrived at Anfield earlier this season and he shows no signs of making peace. After recently calling Klopp a “soft German” following Sunderland’s defeat against Liverpool, Allardyce this week offered his thoughts on the Reds’ current injury crisis which has sidelined 10 first-team players, six of whom have or are recovering from hamstring injuries.
“That is him asking his players to play a high-tempo pressing game from the top end,” Allardyce said.
“I don’t think Jurgen has realized just how ferocious our league is at this period of time and because he has asked for that extra-high energy — that extra 10 yards — these lads are fatiguing now with so many games in such a short period of time and are picking up these muscle strains.”
However, Klopp, who is likely to have no senior central defenders available for Friday’s FA Cup third round tier at fourth tier Exeter, was quick to reject Allardyce’s claims in a scathing response:
“I am glad for Sam, such an experienced manager, that he has time to think about Liverpool’s problems – I don’t have time to think about this.
“I knew about the Premier League, the fixtures, the intensity of the football here.
“There is no time for training, only recovery, the game is our only session in the week to be honest.
“We know about our situation, we know in most of the cases about the reason.
“One injury at the wrong moment is a problem for the whole squad because other players have to play too much but you have to react to this.
“Two weeks ago we never knew we would have a problem with center halves.”
Since arriving in mid-October, Klopp has regularly corrected what he sees as misconceptions about his methods, particularly the high-intensity ‘gegenpressing’ tactic which he employed with such success at Borussia Dortmund.
“The problem is now people speak about the intensity of my style – I didn’t create a style, how could I? I am not a genius,” he added.
“We play only football and a team like Liverpool, with the ambitions the club have, we have to find a way to be successful.
“For this you need players, a little bit of luck with injuries but we haven’t had too much of this.”