Jurgen Klopp responded fairly defensively to a story in the Echo which was publicised after our 2-0 defeat to Leicester City.
Following the game, Liverpool’s boss claimed twice he was ‘sick’ of our consistent defensive problems that have seen us concede 16 goals in nine games.
Respected correspondent James Pearce used this quote in his post-match verdict:
‘“I’m sick of this,” declared a fuming Klopp as he reflected on yet another self-inflicted setback. Join the club…’
But having seen this turned into a headline when filling up his car, Klopp felt disappointed…
“I saw what you wrote ‘We are also sick of it’,” Klopp said. “That’s populistic. Absolutely. I was in the petrol station when I saw it.
“I stood there and thought ‘Oh, that’s a nice cross from me, he thought from a six-yard distance, come on throw it in and get a thumbs up from everyone.’ If you cannot cool it, how can I? I don’t talk to the people.”
The manager went on to speak about the height of fan expectation and how our struggles are magnified by the run both Manchester United and Manchester City have been on.
“Everywhere it’s the same but here a little bit more (in terms of expectation),” Klopp said.
“Obviously it’s difficult in this place not to be No 1, even though they were not No 1 in the last 25 years.”
“Especially when the Manchester teams are flying, that makes it even more difficult but I cannot change this…
“What I can do is cool the situation here down and do the right things again and work on the other things. That’s how it is always. I only feel the difference when I meet you (the media), you are my public. When I meet you I know something is obviously really wrong.
“They expect us to win football games and we could have won all of them but we didn’t. There are two messages: we didn’t and we could have. We could have means we were really close and we were really good.
“We have to improve, we have to do it again. If we win everybody is happy, if we don’t win it and everyone has enough reasons why we will never win a football game again. That’s how it is. For me, it is not a problem.”
At Empire of the Kop, we don’t see anything wrong with Pearce’s comments.
Like the Echo, we desperately want the club to succeed on the pitch, but equally feel pain and disappointment when they mess up.
As journalists, it’s a duty to analyse and present fair arguments, which Pearce’s was.
In many ways fansites like EOTK and local newspapers like the Echo are excellent propaganda tools for the club, but the reality is that they’re separate entities – and a have a right to react to poor performances – provided it’s based on facts and not hyperbole.