‘Are you serious with that question? Make your own opinion, maybe this time without a source’: Jurgen Klopp turns on reporter in a tense exchange after he was questioned Liverpool’s awful early kick-off record
- Jurgen Klopp clashed with a journalist when asked about early kick-offs
- Liverpool failed to win a single league game that kicked off 12.30pm last season
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was involved in a tense exchange with a reporter during his pre-match press conference when discussing his team’s awful record in early kick-offs.
Klopp’s team face Wolves away at 12.30pm on Saturday, with some players having only just returned from international duty.
Liverpool failed to win any of their six early kick offs in the Premier League last season as they lost three games and drew the other three.
The Reds were held by Fulham (A), Everton (A) and Chelsea (H) but lost to each of Nottingham Forest (A), Bournemouth (A) and Manchester City (A).
The Athletic journalist James Pearce asked Klopp whether playing at 12.30pm is problematic or whether the issues are due to a lack of preparation time.
Jurgen Klopp was involved in a tense exchange with a journalist during his press conference
Liverpool stars were in action across the world, with Alexis Mac Allister playing for Argentina in Bolivia
Another Liverpool player, Luis Diaz, was in action for Colombia against Chile
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was on the bench for Brazil as they faced Peru away
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Klopp was evidently frustrated with the question and said: ‘Are you serious with this question?’
LIVERPOOL’S RECORD IN EARLY KO 2022-23
D 2-2 v Fulham (A)
D 0-0 v Everton (A)
L 1-0 v Forest (A)
D 0-0 v Chelsea (H)
L 1-0 v Bournemouth (A)
L 4-1 v Man City (A)
‘What do you mean what is the difference when you play 30 hours ago in Bolivia? What do you think is the reason, I don’t understand.
‘Is it something about the time or the lack of recovery in between. It’s not a problem if you have a normal week, we’ve always said that. The only problem is the lack of recovery time.’
Klopp stressed that the issue was certainly down to players having to travel far for international commitments rather than the kick-off time itself.
Liverpool’s Argentina international Alexis Mac Allister, for example, was playing away in Bolivia this week.
Luis Diaz featured for Colombia against Chile, while goalkeeper Alisson was on the bench for Brazil in Peru.
Klopp said: ‘We have four international breaks until March, and on two of them we have the 12.30pm kick-off. If I say one word about it again the whole world goes ‘He’s starting to moan again’, but it’s a joke – we have players in South America that I haven’t seen yet and we play in 24 hours. It’s a joke.
‘We’ll never change that, but it doesn’t change anything at all. They just don’t give a (inaudible) about that so why should we talk about it?’.
Klopp then told Pearce to form his own opinion, ‘maybe without a source’.
He said: ‘In the moment someone like you gives me the feeling, sitting there ‘What’s exactly the problem, is it 12.30pm because it’s lunchtime? Or could it be the like of time between the games and the intensity of the travel?’ Make your own opinion about it but maybe without a source.’
This isn’t the first time that Klopp has clashed with Pearce.
Last season, following Liverpool’s defeat to Wolves, Klopp refused to answer when Pearce asked a question about conceding goals early in games.
Klopp said: ‘It’s very difficult to talk to you if I’m honest, I would prefer not to do that.
‘You know why. For all the things you wrote. If somebody else wants to ask this question, then I’ll answer.’
Pearce later claimed that Klopp was referring to an article written by another journalist.
Pearce said: ‘I’ve since been told he was reacting to something he read elsewhere the past few days. Nothing I’d written.’
Klopp is adamant Liverpool’s struggles in early games are due to a lack of preparation time
The Reds lost to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest in October 2022 while struggling
They were also beaten by Bournemouth in March, a result that dented their top four ambitions
After an underwhelming season last term, Liverpool have started brightly in 2023-24, winning three and drawing one of their first four games of the Premier League campaign.
Mohamed Salah, who had been linked with a big-money move to Saudi Arabia, has hit the ground running in particular, with two goals and as many assists but Klopp insisted that he was not worried about his talisman leaving in January.
Liverpool been selected to play in two 12.30pm kick-offs on the Saturday immediately after the international break.
Although Liverpool dominate the head-to-head record against Wolves in their history, with 59 wins to the Molineux outfit’s 39, it has been a more even contest in recent years despite the gulf in budgets and personnel.
Last season the two sides met four times in three months, with the Reds winning twice, once in the league and once in the FA Cup Third Round replay following a 1-1 draw first time round, while Wolves came out on top in a 3-0 league win at Molineux.
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