On Sunday, Liverpool dug deep and delivered their best performance of the season in the service of a 1-0 victory over title favourites Manchester City at Anfield. It was a vintage performance for Jürgen Klopp’s Reds after what has been a rather difficult start to their 2022-23 season.
For many, though, the talking point after the match and heading into their game against West Ham and manager David Moyes on Wednesday hasn’t been the performance itself but Klopp’s angry reaction to a non-call by the officials that led to the manager getting seeing red and being sent off.
“I don’t really think you should be asking me a question about Jürgen Klopp because I can’t speak for Jürgen Klopp,” was Moyes’ response when asked about Klopp’s red card. “But if you ask me a question about managers, as I’ve said, for 90 minutes or so it becomes a really emotional game.
“Sometimes you can change your character from maybe what your true character is. But I think if we stood there and did nothing the supporters and [the media] would probably question why not and actually I think if you look at the incident which he got angry about, he was correct, wasn’t he?”
The incident in question was an especially egregious tackle by City’s Bernardo Silva on Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, the City player slinging Salah to the pitch by his jersey in a manner legal in American football but at least in theory not meant to ever be allowed on a Premier League pitch.
For many pundits, the officials taking the concept of letting the game flow to a point of parody has been largely ignored in favour of the kind of outraged finger wagging old English blowhards like to engage in any time they feel decorum has not been adhered to—be it in sport, politics, or life.
Referees may have a difficult job, and Klopp may have been wrong to react as he did, but with players already overloaded by an ever-increasing fixture list, ignoring the laws of the game and allowing violent tackles as Anthony Taylor and his team did on Sunday is reckless and can only lead to injuries.