Garth Crooks is the latest pundit to have taken aim at Jurgen Klopp, in response to the German’s post-Brighton comments about Chris Wilder.
The former Tottenham star rushed to the Sheffield United manager’s aid, claiming that the Reds coach “threw Wilder under the bus”.
Crooks didn’t stop there, with the BBC pundit adding further fuel to the fire by insinuating that Klopp’s player management was at fault for the club’s mounting injury list.
“It would appear the big clubs are no longer satisfied having the best players, the most money and the best resources; they now want adequate recovery time, having played in the most financially lucrative European competitions, so they can return to their domestic leagues fresh enough to give their opposition a damned good hiding,” Crooks wrote on his Team of the Week column. “If Klopp is genuinely concerned about his players’ wellbeing, don’t wait for them to get injured – simply manage your resources and rotate your players. You had enough of them at the start of the season.”
The comments are particularly infuriating when one considers how Liverpool’s injury crisis isn’t an isolated case in the Premier League.
Data from Premier Injuries clearly illustrates that Liverpool are not the only side to have been harmed by the fixture scheduling, with Manchester United (9), Aston Villa (8), Brighton (8), Newcastle (8), and several others, nursing a worrying number of injuries.
Regardless of whether Crooks chooses to believe it or not, Klopp’s concerns about player safety are genuine and proving to be completely justified.
In light of the stark evidence available, we at the Empire of the Kop hope that the German’s thoughts on the matter will start to be taken seriously by the league and broadcasters.
If we want to see the game’s elite players get as many minutes as possible in the Premier League, the fixture scheduling must change – at the very least, for the good of player safety.