Jurgen Klopp admitted at the first-given opportunity that his actions directed at the officiating team during Liverpool’s tie with Manchester City was wrong.
The German looks set to be available for the upcoming meeting with West Ham United despite his sending-off at Anfield – a decision that has apparently baffled former Premier League referee Peter Walton who called for more serious punishment in his latest piece with The Times.
🗣️"Jurgen Klopp… has apologised for his behaviour. But that is not enough – he must be properly punished." pic.twitter.com/PdvAiOlowN
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) October 18, 2022
We can understand the position taken by the 63-year-old given his history, though, while there is more than a grain of truth in his latest claims, the logic is flawed.
The quality of officials and their decision-making should be challenged and – now, this bit is absolutely critical – addressed with genuine action to improve the landscape.
We’ve seen little evidence of any such determination to raise the standard in the English top-flight with inconsistency continuing to reign gameweek after gameweek.
We have to make this absolutely clear: players shouldn’t be ganging up on referees and managers shouldn’t likewise be applying pressure. That should be a reality from grassroots football up.
Obviously, respect for officials is at an all-time low. Whilst we take the time to acknowledge the role played by other professionals involved in the game, however, we need to also address a root cause in the performances from officials on the turf and at Stockley Park.
If we’re allowed to question how managers behave on the touchline why shouldn’t we be allowed to direct the same towards those who can also play a part in influencing results on the pitch?
Why aren’t more questions asked of Anthony Taylor who had no control of arguably the biggest game on the calendar – a fact both Klopp and Pep Guardiola were in agreement on?
Walton’s absolutely right to call for greater protection for his former colleagues but that shouldn’t come at the price of a climate of indifference as far as the quality of officiating is concerned.