Much has been made of Jurgen Klopp’s burst of fury aimed at one of the officiating team during the 1-0 win over Manchester City with Garth Crooks the latest commentator to pitch in.
The pundit is of the opinion that the tie was handled ‘brilliantly’, despite the German and, apparently, Pep Guardiola’s contrasting thoughts on the matter.
“Jurgen Klopp was sent off by Anthony Taylor amidst the red hot atmosphere of Anfield last Saturday for an extraordinary verbal assault towards the referee’s assistant,” the former Tottenham man wrote in his column for BBC Sport.
“Klopp later apologised but the damage had been done. Millions of TV viewers had seen the incident and Taylor used the only means at his disposal and made his position clear by sending the Liverpool manager off.
“The referee handled the match brilliantly but why are managers increasingly allowing themselves to lose self-control but insist referees retain control of the fixture at all times?
“Mikel Arteta, Thomas Tuchel, Antonio Conte and Jesse Marsch have all been cautioned by officials already this season in scenes that can only be described as thoroughly unpleasant.
“These men must be made to respect the traditions of the game, and not allowed to hide behind the idea that they are the only ones who suffer frustrations, and that passions and emotions are not excuses to behave abominably on the touchline.
“The game is no more intense or passionate than it was in years gone by. The only significant change in the modern era is the amount of money attached to it. In order for the game to survive its integrity must be protected and that means the officials not being coerced or bullied by managers.”
The Merseysiders have since followed up a victory against the Cityzens with another 1-0 win against West Ham before the brakes were slammed on their turnaround courtesy of a disappointing defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Whilst we wholeheartedly agree with Crooks on the matter of respecting officials it’s fascinating to note that the Englishman completely failed to pay any notice to the ongoing struggles of those same individuals.
Inconsistency in decision-making remains rife across the English top-flight and, whilst it’s important we encourage role models like Klopp to not lose their temper, we have to equally pay attention to when things go wrong either on the pitch from the referee or the team at Stockley Park.
Given the complete lack of protection given to Mo Salah on the day, you could hardly blame the 55-year-old for blowing a gasket.