Midway through the second half, with Liverpool up 3-1 against Leicester City and soon after Simon Mignolet saved a shot on goal from Jamie Vardy, the crowd at Anfield started singing Jürgen Klopp’s name.
The boss looked none too pleased.
Klopp looked visibly irritated when the singing started and made some gestures that indicated he’d rather they stop.
He was, of course, in a jovial mood following the game after his side closed out the 4-1 win over the defending champions. But when asked about that moment in the post-game press conference, Klopp he’d prefer that fans wait until the game was over before singing his praises.
I have to say, because I don't know how else I can say this, please don't sing my name before the game is decided! Immediately when the Kop started signing 'Jurgen Klopp la la la' they were clear on Simon Mignolet. It's like celebrating a penalty before you have scored! I don't play! It's nice, I like all the players, but please don't sing my name before the game is decided. It was the same against Arsenal. It's nice, but it's not necessary. It would be really nice if you could stop please! I wanted to say this, because (at the time) nobody could understand me. I know it doesn't sound too smart, but sorry. That's me. It's very nice, thank you very much. But I've heard it often now!
While false equivalence is a major problem in journalism, in this case both sides of the debate do have a point. Klopp is entitled to feel how he wants about songs sung about him, and he’s not wrong about fans getting too carried away before the result is settled. It’s not like they haven’t blown big leads before.
On the other hand, in the same way that funerals aren’t really for the dead, you can argue that the songs sung in the stands aren’t really about the people those songs are about. Most professional players tune them out. But fans don’t. The songs are as much about building community. The act of singing with thousands of others to rally your players (or denigrate theirs) builds that sense of group identity. In this sense, Klopp is less a person than an idea, at least as far as the song is concerned.
Of course, there’s also an actual human being named Jürgen Klopp who clearly feels uncomfortable when fans sing about him during the game. Maybe it’s best not to jinx things too early in the game anyway.