When Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was asked earlier today who was ultimately responsible for his side’s embarrassing 2-1 loss at home to Wolves in the FA Cup, he pointed the finger squarely at himself:
“I’m responsible for the lineup. It’s not allowed to blame single players and say you didn’t do that or you didn’t do this. Of course I see the players playing. You learn a lot about players in these situations too. It’s my responsibility, I’m responsible for this performance 100%.”
This is something you’d expect any manager to say after such a difficult loss. (Except maybe José Mourinho.) The buck stops with the manager, ultimately, and Klopp was prepared to take it on the chin after his side suffered three defeats in as many competitions in a week— a sharp contrast from their imperious nearly-undefeated form in the first half of the season.
In post-match commentary for BT Sport, former Liverpool captain and recently-appointed youth coach Steven Gerrard said that Klopp’s comments weren’t just empty platitudes. He said that the manager was protecting his players, as he should. And that the players owe him big time now.
“Klopp is protecting them there, but me and [Paul Ince] have both been players and they need to regroup quickly. The players need to regroup. It’s obvious they have got problems counter attack and they’re about to play the best counter-attacking team in the country. It’s crash helmet time for the players. They have to regroup and react quickly and they need a massive performance against Chelsea.”
The clash with Chelsea is on Tuesday. If the squad is going to make any kind of response, they’re going to have to pull themselves together now.