Garth Crooks has suggested that Jurgen Klopp’s sarcastic ‘little tournament’ comment in regard to the upcoming AFCON tournament was ‘reckless’.
The German had been challenged by one reporter after his words had been misinterpreted, with the Liverpool boss appearing somewhat baffled by the line of questioning adopted.
“However, it wasn’t until I heard Klopp’s explanation in his pre-match interview prior to the AC Milan fixture, when challenged by a journalist, that I understood the comments were shrouded in irony,” the 63-year-old wrote in his team of the week column for BBC Sport.
“Klopp was being sarcastic and suggesting the tournament was quite the opposite. Far from being a little tournament, the Liverpool manager was insisting the tournament was far more demanding than people realise.
“The problem with sarcasm is that it doesn’t always travel well and what might appear funny in a dressing room doesn’t always translate well or is very clear in other parts of the world.
“It will also teach Klopp not to be reckless in future with language from the dressing room. I might not be his biggest fan, but I’ve seen enough of his teams to know that he not only respects African football but also their footballers. Otherwise why would he buy them?”
The club’s African contingent have enjoyed some more than positive form this term, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane registering 40 goal contributions between them across all competitions.
The idea that Klopp would disrespect a competition that three of his key men will play starring roles in.
To Crooks’ credit, the BBC pundit did acknowledge the intention behind the 54-year-old’s words, with it undoubtedly clear that there had been no malicious thought behind the comments in question.
It’s an issue that has most definitely been overanalysed courtesy of poor translation and cultural barriers, though we can’t bring ourselves to agree with the suggestion that the Liverpool boss should censor himself in future for fear of being misunderstood.