Liverpool battered Everton and Everton didn’t even defend especially well, relying on Liverpool having a cold night in front of goal and missing their chances to survive in their own end. At the other end of it, they created nothing—two shot attempts from outside the area—and succeeded thanks to a gift of a penalty.
Yet the match ended 1-1 with pundits eager to praise Everton manager Sam Allardyce and criticise Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp. Klopp, not surprisingly after such an unearned result by his opponents, wasn’t in great humour following it and was annoyed when pressed on what had come before by those pundits. He still is.
“I’d give the same information now,” he said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s league tie with West Brom. “Now I’m completly relaxed. I wasn’t five minutes after the game, but sometimes you look into the eyes of those asking questions and feel they aren’t too interested in what you have to say.”
Klopp at the time appeared aggrieved at feeling like the goal of the interview was to get him to say the penalty awarded was deserved, or understandable, or at least that it fit into the pre-established narrative of Liverpool being fragile defensively—that he was being asked to feed the media’s narrative of him and the club.
He clearly felt that narrative didn’t fit—and that it wasn’t a penalty. Having taken a step back, it’s clear he still feels that way, and he’s right to. Because the game as played doesn’t match the established narrative of Liverpool and he has nothing to answer for regarding tactics, team selection, or that sometimes fragile defence.
Against Everton, Klopp and Liverpool got it right and Allardyce and Everton got exceptionally lucky. That the media, the journalists, and some very well compensated pundits have gone on as though that wasn’t the case isn’t something Klopp should have to answer for—it’s something they should have to answer for.
“I didn’t use any words I have to take back,” Klopp added. “I don’t like [showing anger] but I cannot change it because I felt like this in the moment. I cannot act differently, but I can keep calm. It’s just an interview, nothing else.”