Wednesday 18 September 2019

‘I’m not interested in creating headlines’ – Jurgen Klopp hits out at Neville brothers over Karius row

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp launched a scathing attack on former Manchester United defender Gary Neville as the war of words over Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius' form escalated.

Karius took exception to Neville's remarks following a poor performance at Bournemouth the weekend before last, prompting a social media response from the Sky TV commentator.

Gary's brother Phil continued the criticism after Karius was culpable for West Ham's equaliser in Sunday's 2-2 draw with West Ham, suggesting on Match of the Day 2 that the keeper was ill-advised to speak out ahead of the weekend fixture, when he said, "I don't care what Gary Neville said. He was a top player, then he was a manager for a short bit and now he is back to being an expert again."

The brothers' criticisms have riled Klopp.

"The pundits, former players most of them, forgot completely how it felt when they got criticised," said the Liverpool manager. "Especially the Neville brothers - the one who was the manager (Gary), he obviously should know that too much criticism never helps. But he is not interested in helping a Liverpool player, I can imagine, but that makes the things he says not make more sense.

"He showed he struggled with the job to judge players so why do we let him talk about players on television? I don't listen to them. I am pretty sure Carra (Jamie Carragher) doesn't speak too positively about Man United players.

"Obviously the Neville brothers don't like Liverpool - I have no problem, and if they can cause bigger problems than we have already they have tried."

Regarding Neville's social media response to the Karius comments, Klopp added: "By the way, you can tell him I am not on Twitter, so if he wants to tell me something Twitter doesn't help."

The Nevilles are not lone voices in criticising Karius. The German has not yet earned the trust of his own fans and Liverpool legend Carragher was equally damning of the 23-year-old's recent contribution.

Indeed, Klopp refused to confirm if Karius would keep his place for tomorrow’s trip to Middlesbrough – Simon Mignolet is on standby. Klopp said he did not wish to discuss Karius’s form directly.

“Whatever I would say about this would create headlines, the good things, the bad things, and I am absolutely not interested in creating headlines so you can write what you want,” he said.

“As a manager, if you concede how can you be happy? That’s the thing. I can’t be part of the discussions and I don’t want them to grow with the things I say.

“There is nothing to say about it. A few things are obvious, a few things are not obvious, a few things are the truth, a few things are not right, but that is too much for me to think about.

“Criticism is part of our life. First of all my job is to protect the players as much as I can but I am not on the pitch so I cannot go with them. Criticism from outside is normal, for me, the players and the goalkeeper.

“I am not surprised about it. In my very first press conference I spoke a little bit about the English media. Obviously most of you enjoy this harsh part.”

When asked if Karius would keep his place, Klopp said: “No answer for this. Everything I say creates a story. If I say he plays, it’s this, if I say no, it’s this. There is absolutely no answer. Nothing has changed in terms of what I say in public. What I have to say to my players, that is not for public. That’s the problem – for you, not for me.”

The Karius furore comes as Liverpool have fallen six points behind leaders Chelsea ahead of tomorrow’s trip to the North East.

They will still be without Emre Can, who has a knee injury, and there is still no date set for the return of Daniel Sturridge, who is training alone at present. “In the next few weeks everything can change in the right direction. Things like this happen.” (© Daily Telegraph, London)

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport