Saturday 20 January 2018

Jurgen Klopp fury at England over Jordan Rossiter injury

Jurgen Klopp answers questions at a press conference in Liverpool yesterday
Jurgen Klopp answers questions at a press conference in Liverpool yesterday

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has accused the English Football Association of treating the midfielder Jordan Rossiter "like a horse" and causing him to be injured during the international break last week.

Rossiter returned to Merseyside with a hamstring problem after playing for England U-19s. Klopp will seek his own explanation why the teenager was used in three fixtures for 90 minutes between October 8 and 13.

"Rossiter is a special story, I would say," Klopp said. "I have never heard that a player that young plays three games in five days. That was the problem why he got injured. Now we have to wait for him. I don't think he is ready to play until after the next international break.

"I don't know who I have to speak to about this, but I will find a way of talking to someone. It is not OK. We need him in this moment, a young player with a big talent. It would have been good for him if he could be with us but he can't be."


Aidy Boothroyd, the England U-19 coach, selected Rossiter against Macedonia on October 8, Finland on October 10 and Italy on October 13 - in fact over six rather than the five days Klopp suggested.

Freddie Woodman, the Newcastle United goalkeeper, and the Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Salter also played all three England U-19 games with Rossiter.

Nevertheless, Klopp was incandescent that so much was demanded of the 18-year-old, who would have been in contention to play in the Europa League tie against Rubin Kazan tonight.

Boothroyd has since spoken to Liverpool's academy director, Alex Inglethorpe, and expressed sympathies for the player. He is also willing to talk to Klopp to discuss the situation.

"These young players are our future, if we handle them like horses then we get horses," said Klopp. "We want that they improve and that they get better. We want them to have time and not feel too much pressure."

Klopp was speaking ahead of his first game at Anfield as Liverpool manager, with the club's owners in attendance on Merseyside. Daniel Sturridge is likely to be saved until the Premier League game against Southampton on Sunday.

Klopp rejected suggestions that his high-energy style would be tough to replicate three times a week. "You don't have to play like this for 90 minutes," he said. "If you have the ball you do not have to run like crazy. I want to go to Anfield, I want to feel and see it. That is what we are all waiting for, one of these special moments. We know about the job we have to do for the special atmosphere. If someone wants to surprise us and be louder than they ever have been, try to do it.

"This game is very important and we have to be patient. We have one advantage and this is that we play at home. It is only an advantage if everyone knows how hard the work will be in this game.

"I hope that nobody is waiting for 4-0 after three minutes or something like this or are disappointed." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Liverpool v Rubin Kazan, Live, Setanta Ireland, 8.05

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