Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp takes on England’s football authorities. After Liverpool’s embarrassing cup draw with third-division club Shrewsbury Town (2-2), the coach railed against the national association FA. “You can’t deal with us as if nobody cares,” he scolded. The reason: The FA Cup replay takes place during the winter break. “That means we are not there,” said Klopp angrily. Liverpool will therefore compete with a young team. “The kids will play,” said Klopp.
The answer came promptly: The FA football association did not want to get the buck. “Before the start of the 2019/20 season, all clubs accepted that the repetitions of the fourth round of the FA Cup, if necessary, had to take place in the first week of the break in the off-season,” said the association on Monday afternoon.
It’s no secret that the first championship in 30 years has top priority for the Premier League leaders. It is new that it shows Klopp so clearly and that it is possible that a prestigious competition in favor of the Premier League is diverted. “The players need a break, mentally and physically,” he emphasized. “We will not be there. Neither do I. I know it’s not very popular, but that’s how I see it. You can’t handle us as if nobody cares. “
Liverpool should actually be free from 2 to 14 February. “We received a letter from the Premier League asking us to respect the winter break, no international friendly matches and no competitive games,” said the coach. “I told the boys two weeks ago that we were taking a winter break.”
The reactions to Klopp’s announcement were mixed. Some users accused the trainer of arrogance and lack of respect on social media, others showed understanding. Shrewsbury’s goal scorer Jason Cummings was disappointed. “Personally, I prefer to play against the big players, of course,” he said on BBC. “This is unprecedented,” said TV expert Martin Keown, former professional at Liverpool rival FC Everton, “I am really disappointed.”
Klopp’s colleague Ralph Hasenhüttl has only nine days off with Southampton because of the 1-1 in the FA Cup against Tottenham Hotspur. He doesn’t think of a boycott. “I don’t understand it, but okay, we have to do it,” said the former Leipzig coach, “we have to accept it.” Steve Bruce, who has to face Oxford a second time with Newcastle, scolded: “This is a ridiculous situation , What shoud that?”
“It wasn’t in Klopp’s script, and he’ll be furious,” wrote the “Liverpool Echo.” Incidentally, the Reds competed in the insignificant league cup with the U 23 in December because Klopp and his stars took part in the Club World Cup in Qatar, where the Champions League winner was also named club world champion. The youngsters crashed at Aston Villa with 0: 5 and flew – hardly noticed – out of the league cup.
But the FA Cup has a different status. It would be as if Bayern were playing with their amateurs in the round of 16 of the DFB Cup. Imagine that coach Hansi Flick would stay at home and that instead of Lewandowski, Gnabry and Kimmich, Zirkzee, Meier and Welzmüller would play. The indignation would be great, critics would complain about distortion of competition. On the other hand, no one in Germany would get the strange idea of putting a cup game in the Bundesliga winter break.