Gini Wijnaldum has given an honest description of his relationship with Jurgen Klopp – and unlike most other Liverpool players – has explained how sometimes the boss gets under his skin.
The Dutchman is usually an automatic starter in big games, but last season, Klopp benched Gini for the semi-final second-leg against Barcelona, only for the midfielder to come on, score twice and help propel us in the final – where we beat Spurs in Madrid.
As Wijnaldum states, we’ll never know what would have happened if he’d started the game!
“With the manager, it is more or less hate and love. I am sure he has the best -interests at heart with every player in the squad. But sometimes you are so involved in a match and the manager is still chasing you,” Wijnaldum told the Mirror.
“Then you just boil over sometimes and, in my case, I do get angry with him. I still don’t know if what happened against Barcelona was his real plan.
“But that night I was so angry and so disappointed that he did not start me.
“Looking back, we can say things worked out all right. We will never know how it might have gone if the manager had started me.”
Right now, Wijnaldum is very much in Klopp’s starting XI.
With Fabinho holding and Jordan Henderson to the right, Gini’s job is to protect the left flank when Andy Robertson bombs forward – then also link play and maintain possession when we have the ball in the midfield.
He does the role excellently, but when he’s Netherlands duty, Gini scores and assists goals for fun! Ronald Koeman gives him more licence to get forward, but in fairness, if Liverpool are winning – which we incessantly are – why change anything tactically?