Jürgen Klopp has launched a scathing attack on Gary and Phil Neville and questioned the former’s credentials as a television pundit given his ill-fated spell as Valencia head coach.
The Liverpool manager accused the former Manchester United players of promoting an anti-Liverpool agenda in his latest defence of under-fire goalkeeper Loris Karius. Karius has come in for criticism over unconvincing displays against Bournemouth and West Ham United, games in which Liverpool have dropped five points to fall six behind league leaders Chelsea.
Jamie Carragher led the criticism of the Germany goalkeeper’s display in the 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth, but while accepting the former Liverpool defender’s words, Karius bit back in a newspaper interview on Friday at similar sentiments voiced by Gary Neville. That prompted further criticism from both Neville brothers and the spat intensified on Monday when Klopp entered the row.
“It is part of our life,” said the Liverpool manager on criticism of Karius. “First of all my job is to protect the players as much as I can but I am not in the pitch so I cannot go with them. Criticism from outside is normal, for me, the players, the goalkeeper. I am not surprised about it. In my very first press conference I spoke a little bit about the English media. Obviously most of you enjoy this harsh part.
“The pundits, former players most of them, forgot completely how it felt when they got criticised. Especially the Neville brothers; the one who was the manager he obviously should know that too much criticism never helps. But he is not interested in helping a Liverpool player I can imagine, but that makes the things he says not make more sense. He showed he struggled with the job to judge players so why do we let him talk about players on television?
“I don’t listen to them. I am pretty sure Carra doesn’t speak too positively about Man United players. Obviously the Neville brothers don’t like Liverpool, I have no problem and if they can cause bigger problems than we have already they have tried. By the way, you can tell him [Gary] I am not on Twitter so if he wants to tell me something Twitter doesn’t help.”
Klopp had earlier refused to discuss the performances of his £4.7m summer signing from Mainz, who was making only his 10th Premier League appearance in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with West Ham United having replaced Simon Mignolet as the Liverpool manager’s first-choice keeper.
He claimed: “Whatever I would say about this would create headlines. The good things, the bad things, and I am absolutely not interested in creating headlines so you can write what you want. There is nothing to say about it. A few things are obvious, a few things are not obvious, a few things are the truth, a few things are not right but that is too much for me to think about.”
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