In his pre-match press conference ahead of the Watford match tomorrow, Jürgen Klopp had some choice words for the footballing bodies.
While the international schedule saw matches postponed to accommodate players in Spain, Klopp felt himself frustrated by the lack of care he sees in the English league.
In response to a question about his feelings on being without Alisson and Fabinho for tomorrow’s match, Klopp responded, “The problem is when I answer it sounds like I’m frustrated. I’m not. We have no chance, obviously. Brazil played last night, it’s not in our hands. You have a big squad but not for FA decisions. Atletico don’t play weekend, that’d never happen here!”
While the squad size is meant to fill in for issues caused by the challenging domestic schedule and injuries players pick up across the season, the manager is frustrated to be without players due to the decisions of football’s governing bodies.
It appears that the club knew Alisson and Fabinho would be an issue for a while, and have elected to send them directly to Madrid rather than force them to quarantine in England.
Fabinho and Alisson have to come back later [from Madrid]. It’s 10 days after Thursday. These are the rules. They could fly into England but with quarantine they’d have been away from families. Ali has 3 kids, not ideal. We need solutions.
I know people ask why footballers should be treated differently. I don’t remember players being unavailable because of federation reasons. We ask for a few hours so it was more likely they could play. 7pm kick-off might have worked but WFC or PL didn’t go for it.
Klopp also shared some frustration about the English FA due to the injury Curtis Jones picked up while on duty for the U21s — and the lack of communication around his injury.
Curtis Jones came back from England U21s injured, which is not good. It’s hard to get in touch with them. They played Andorra, great, important he played there, come back injured, not available for tomorrow.
When the FAs don’t help us...they have to think about the game and not just their own interests. I am here six years and it is always this. Why don’t we talk about it?
Much of his press conference stung with frustration: none of the issues Klopp outlines are new, but many are specific to his experience in England. He must wonder why he must keep talking about these things, season on season.