Jurgen Klopp has spoken in length to Gary Lineker about a number of subjects, including why he selects players and leaves others on the bench – or out of the squad altogether.
The German is never afraid to pick a side that fans sometimes question, like when he benched Daniel Sturridge for Divock Origi against Borussia Dortmund last season; and Lineker wanted an explanation.
Not only for Klopp’s reasons, but also his methods in making sure those players left out remain happy.
You can watch the entirety of the 12 minute BBC interview via this link. We’d urge you to do so – it’s brilliant.
Here’s what Klopp had to say:
“The absolute truth is that ‘you’re not good enough,’ but I don’t want to say this. But it’s clear so you don’t have to ask. Player’s don’t ask ,’Why am I not in?’ but, ‘What can I change?’. That’s a good talk. And then when you are not in, you should be disappointed – but not too disappointed. Come on, that’s life.”
That’s Klopp in a nutshell – as honest as the day is long.
It’s also obvious, isn’t it? Managers claim tiredness, rotation, ‘form’ and a number of other reasons as excuses for leaving players out – but really – they’re picking a team they want to win – and are therefore picking the players they think are best.
If you’re not involved, it’s because the boss thinks there’s better options available to him. Simple.
Recently James Milner has complained about being used as a left-back, but that’s because Klopp thinks he’s better than Alberto Moreno right now and not as effective as the likes of Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum further forward. He’s using Daniel Sturridge on the right, but that’s because he thinks Roberto Firmino or Divock Origi are better pressing centre-forwards.
That’s the manager’s prerogative. And it’s up to us fans now to trust his judgement.