Tuesday 14 August 2018

Liverpool legend John Barnes backs Jurgen Klopp's show of 'strength' in sending Mamadou Sakho home

John Barnes. (Anesh Debiky/Getty Images)
John Barnes. (Anesh Debiky/Getty Images)

Carl Markham

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes believes Jurgen Klopp's hardline stance in relation to Mamadou Sakho has helped swing the balance of power back towards managers.

The France defender was sent home from the club's pre-season tour of the United States earlier this week because of his poor time-keeping.

Barnes believes that immediately sent a message to the rest of the squad.

"Managers needs to be given that autonomy," said the ex-England international, speaking at the Silverstone Classic in support of Prostate Cancer UK.

"The manager needs to be given that strength to then say if 'I take a decision to drop somebody or to send them home or tell someone off then you will have to back me' - and the fans do.

"There are certain managers, (Jose) Mourinho, (Antonio) Conte, (Pep) Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, they can take decisions and the fans will back them.

"That's not happened in the past. Players have been too powerful at the clubs in the past where things have gone wrong and you blame the manager."

Barnes, who lost his own father to prostate cancer, added: "We're not going to blame Guardiola, Liverpool fans aren't going to blame Jurgen Klopp, and that's when the players will then need to take on the responsibility and the accountability for the bad performances because when they play badly we are not going to say its 'Jurgen's fault', and that's what has to happen."

Press Association

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