Stan Collymore is less than impressed by Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of the hectic fixture list, telling the Mirror (10 November, page 55) that the Liverpool boss ‘can’t start crying’ about the amount of games his side have to face.
The outspoken German has never been one to hide his frustrations at a cramped schedule, going as far as to call a spell of two games in 48 hours over the Christmas period last year ‘a crime’.
Klopp famously failed to attend the EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa last season too, handing over the reigns to Neil Critchley and his squad of fresh-faced reserves as Liverpool jetted out to Qatar to take part in the Club World Cup.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola have also been vocal in their admonishment of a fixture schedule so packed that even a group of sardines might start to feel a little claustrophobic.
But Collymore has little sympathy.
“Scrap the FA Cup and the League Cup, shorten the Champions League and the Europa League – that was the common sense solution in a season when we’re struggling to fit everything in. And the ‘big six’ should have sat down with the rest of the Premier League and the authorities pre-season and worked out how best to make everything work for everyone,” the former Reds ace said.
“But after entering all those competitions and accepting the financial benefits, I’m sorry, you can’t start crying about fixture lists – as Jurgen Klopp and Solksjaer have done.
“Playing early on a Saturday and after a Wednesday night game goes with the territory. And both sends of Reds know that.”
After the November international break comes to an end, Liverpool face cramming in 11 games between now and the end of the year.
At least an early exit from the EFL Cup, a competition Klopp has been accused of not taking seriously since arriving in England, will give the Merseyside giants some welcome respite.