Saturday 18 August 2018

'We watched all of them 500 million times' - An animated Jurgen Klopp on why Liverpool did not sign a defender

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp not happy with persistent questions over his leaky defence
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp not happy with persistent questions over his leaky defence
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hit back at claims that he only has himself to blame for the club's defensive woes this season after he failed to sign a centre-back in the transfer window.

Persistent mistakes have cost Liverpool during Klopp's reign as the club's manager, with the aborted attempts to sign Southampton's Virgil van Dijk this summer not followed up by a move for an alternative central defender.

All of Liverpool's top six rivals in the Premier League added to their defensive options with high profile signings, but Klopp and Liverpool failed to bolster the key weak point in their armoury.

That has come back to haunt them in a week that saw them surrender a winning position in the Champions League to draw 2-2 with Sevilla and lose 5-0 at Manchester City.

Yet Klopp has insisted it was not a lack of effort that saw his club come up short in their pursuit of defensive re-enforcements, as he claims the players he wanted were not available.

"We watched all of them 500 million times," he declared when asked whether Liverpool considered alternative centre-backs when they missed out on Van Dijk. 

"It is not that we ignore it. I said if there would have been a solution out there we would have done it. I had to make a decision and the decision was our boys are not worse than them.

"It is concentration. It is not a quality thing, but if there’s no-one, no solution out there, and no real quality issue then you have to work on it and that is what we will do."

Klopp hit back at the media for criticising his tactics and also the suggestion that Liverpool did not do enough to sign defenders in a summer when they added Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to their attacking options.

"For me it’s really difficult always to come to your planet, visit you and say ‘yeah you’re right, there were five good options out there and we missed them because, I don’t know, we wanted to spend the money anywhere else’," added Klopp.

"To cool the people down what if the new player doesn’t hit the first ball and he makes exactly the same mistake?

“Oh yeah, sometimes they make bulls**t, and we are not happy. Sometimes I see goals I’m angry about. Of course you wish we could have done differently, but that can happen. That’s really life.

“Sometimes we make mistakes because we are offensively that strong.”

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