Roy Keane has criticised Jurgen Klopp over his handling of Sadio Mane’s post-match frustrations, after the Senegalese rejected the opportunity of a handshake with the Liverpool boss, as reported by the Echo.
The former Southampton ace was deemed to be upset with his manager’s decision to bench him for the Reds’ pivotal clash with Manchester United, with summer signing Diogo Jota favoured for a start instead – a decision vindicated by the Portuguese’s first-half equaliser.
“But when I was a player I didn’t want the manager coming on giving me high fives. If we’d won the league, maybe, but even then I’d be doubtful,” the former Manchester United star said. “If he sees the player’s upset, just back away. It’s bad enough your manager, but the opposition manager going round and giving everyone high fives.”
Normally, the idea of leaving a player of the 29-year-old’s calibre on the sidelines, for a game of such significance as that which occurred yesterday evening, would be unthinkable.
Though the forward has enjoyed a recent upturn in form, with two goals in the three games prior to the meeting at Old Trafford, Mane’s performances overall this term have been a shadow of his contributions of the previous two campaigns.
The idea that Klopp’s man-management is in any way at fault, however, is simply ludicrous.
While bear hugs and hive fives are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the charismatic German, it forms part of a persona that’s truly befitting of a manager of Liverpool.
We don’t want a distant, cold, Mourinho-esque operator, we want a coach who has a relationship with the players and the fans – we admire the compassion that makes of the core of the former Dortmund boss’ being. We wouldn’t want it changed for anything.