Following late controversy in the 1-1 draw with Brighton, which saw the seemingly indestructible James Milner go off injured, Klopp took aim at BT Sport for the horrid fixture schedule – something Neville took exception to.
“I don’t think Jurgen Klopp’s got a point around fatigue, around the length of time of pre-season or about the Saturday kick-offs,” Neville said. “My view is that when you become a winning manager, and this is where Sir Alex got to and why they called him a whinging so and so for many years, the best managers they just want to win. The biggest risk to Klopp winning the league again this season is another big injury or two. So, he wants to try and gain that advantage to put some psychological thing into people’s minds. Sir Alex Ferguson did it for 15 or 16 years.”
While the former Manchester United man may have a point about how damaging another injury could be to Liverpool’s title hopes, Neville got it completely wrong when analysing Klopp’s motivations.
Elite managers will always seek to gain an advantage, as far as their own team goes, however, Klopp’s prior comments in regard to player safety have demonstrated that the German is genuinely interested in what’s best for the league and players – not just his side.
We at the Empire of the Kop hope that clubs, broadcasters and the Premier League can come together in the near future to resolve the heavy fixture schedule, be it through a German-style winter break or flexible match times, in anticipation of European fixtures for the league’s top sides.
Or at the very least, not put the English sides in Europe midweek on Saturday lunchtime…