Jurgen Klopp branded Gary Neville’s comments over Hannibal Mejbri’s physical actions in Liverpool’s four-goal dismantling of Manchester United as senseless.
The former Red Devil had spoken after the game in glowing terms of the youngster after a few reckless challenges on a handful of the German’s men.
“He had to apologise for that, rightly so. I understand where he is coming from,” the 54-year-old told reporters ahead of the Merseyside derby (as reported by the Echo).
“Obviously you want to see some aggression, but there is a difference between aggression and kicking players. It makes no sense.
“Aggression in football means you are ready to hurt yourself, not the other one.
“I don’t blame the kid (Mejbri), he came on and the game was a bit quick and he was a bit late here and there. It’s all good.”
The Reds are set to take on league strugglers Everton, with a four point-gap to address in the wake of Manchester City’s demolition job of Watford.
It’s worth emphasising that we’ve no interest in seeing a sanitised version of football with whistle-happy officials – physicality is a critical part of the English game and the sport as a whole.
Nonetheless, this does come with the reasonable understanding that the sport is best served by having its best sportsmen available for as much of the season as possible.
Therefore, we’d more than back our manager in calling for controlled aggression in the game that don’t risk the safety of the opponent.