Typically Jurgen Klopp’s press conferences ahead of matches aren’t particularly interesting. But lately, as Liverpool’s season has crumbled before our very eyes, things have gotten a little testy as the manager is angry, and so are the supporters and journalists who follow the club. On Friday, the Liverpool manager did his first press conference after news broke this week that Liverpool were withdrawing their interest in Jude Bellingham due to concerns over the price tag. Klopp’s answers to some pointed questions were quite spicy.
“We have to make sure, we have to make decisions for the team, for the club and we cannot dream, we cannot be angry if we don’t get this or we don’t get that,” Klopp said to the media on Friday. “If there’s no chance for it, why should we do that?
“We cannot discuss things you always want to discuss all the time in public, what kind of situation would that be? I react like a supporter or like you (journalist) and it is ‘how can they do this, how can they do that, he doesn’t get this, or he doesn’t get that’. Who cares? We have to sort it. That’s all that we have to do.
“For us it is not fun, like ‘oh my God they (another team) sign him, great’. That’s our life, our business and what we really have to put right.
“It doesn’t help if I ask for something and I don’t get it and I say ‘I don’t want it anymore with him or with him’. That’s rubbish, that’s not okay. I’m too a much a professional. You are in this business, you make sure that’s what we can do, fine, work with it. Done. That’s it, make the best of it. Go about and go on the training ground.”
“In this moment it looks like if we sign this player, everything will be fine, if we sign this player then ‘oh my God, do we really want to play football again?’.”
The Liverpool manager continued: “Based on other seasons I understand that but imagine now if I would fall into that trap as well and say ‘these guys I don’t want to see them anymore and let’s make 12 changes and yes we have to build a new team’. It’s not like that. You are interested in a player, you think about a player, you have to check if it is possible or not, it’s not possible.
“Now we see, there are 12 midfielders we could sign, stuff like this yeah, fine. There are a lot of good players out there, honestly, yeah a lot of good players - and we are interested in all good players, and some of them, will end up here that’s all.”
Liverpool and Klopp have found themselves in a world of hurt this season. After nearly doing the impossible of a quadruple last season, they sit eighth in the Premier League with nine games remaining. They have to make up about a 13 point gap on either (both?) Manchester United or Newcastle United if they want to qualify for the Champions League next season. Largely letdown by an aging midfield, Klopp and Co. face a massive summer transfer window to build a title contender again.
“For us playing football to be successful, yes it must be possible, of course it is possible to rebuild in three years,” said the Reds boss. “Of course it is better to play much better football than we did this year, it must be possible.
“We are what, eighth, so we bring in new players, and if we are fifth then we are already better than this year, though that is obviously not our aim. So yes, we can become a team again that nobody wants to play against, and that is the starting basis.
“Every year we have had this discussion even in our best years. It was never enough, you have to do this and this - we did what we could do. That is how it is. It is clear other clubs can do in some situations more than us. I am always here explaining it, and that is the bit that is not so cool to be honest. It is not my money we are talking about.”
To finish off the press conference, a journalist suggested that Klopp could join a club that spent more money, and this is what he had to say to that.
“But this is my club. Nothing. This is my club. You want to suggest I quit here and wait for the next top job?”