A few days after losing his composure, Jurgen Klopp remained calm. There were bigger reasons for an outbreak; There are worse things in life than Bernardo Silva’s foul on Mohamed Salah with impunity which resulted in Klopp yelling at assistant referee Gary Beswick and being sent off for the first time in his seven years at Liverpool FC.
Less than 48 hours later, he was relaxed. When a question began with the words “You deserve”, Klopp threw in “a red card”. If he has yet to receive his final punishment from the FA and will be on the touchline against West Ham on Wednesday – he has until Friday to respond to a misconduct charge – the more serious accusation came after the game and became private raised.
Manchester City – or at least one of the club’s employees – gave the impression in unattributed talks that Klopp’s pre-game comments about the spending power of Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle and City were “borderline xenophobic”.
In response, he could have rightly invoked his status as an internationalist who has long mentored players from many countries.
He is known to be a critic of Brexit and its narrow nationalism, has campaigned for African players and has been a supportive presence in the careers of Muslim footballers including Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. He would have the right to take legal action against such defamatory statements, or at least to say that someone who felt so, upon replying at a press conference in which Klopp made no reference to race or nationality, could at least have the courtesy to put it her name in the quotation marks.
But Klopp had enough faith in who he is, what he had said and thought, that he shrugged it off; When shots were fired at him, he felt they were completely off target. “In this particular case, I don’t feel it at all,” he said. “I know myself. And you can’t meet anything that’s miles away from my personality. If I were like that, I would hate it. I would hate myself for being like that.
“I’ve often said things that were a little ambiguous. I know that. Not on purpose, just sometimes you say things and you’re like, “Oh my god, that can be interpreted like that,” but it’s not one of those moments. Absolutely.”
He had been accused by City of inciting the situation but this was an attempt not to add fuel to the fire.
Klopp could have defended more vehemently; Often eloquent, he had declined to answer the first question mentioning xenophobia. When it showed he was comfortable in his own skin, it also showed a willingness to admit when he was wrong.
He had visited referee Anthony Taylor and the team on duty after Sunday’s game, but not to continue ranting on the sidelines. “We have a completely open discussion,” he explained. “What we say stays in space, but it was a quiet conversation. Of course I apologized to the assistant.”
His post-game analysis has extended to his own behavior. “In my eyes it wasn’t that long [he shouted at Beswick] But when you saw the pictures, it looks like I stood there for five minutes,” he added. “I went there and it wasn’t disrespectful, I just screamed, ‘How can you not give a foul?’ But it was a problem with my face.”
Then came the unexpected problem of a sudden swab. It can be in the nature of Klopp’s job for views to be directed at him to be acted upon; He had sounded offended last week by Dietmar Hamann’s claim that Liverpool had lost their ‘spark’ rather than an isolated opinion which privately he is likely to find offensive.
He could have been forgiven for reacting with confusion, let alone anger. But after a measured response to an attack on his reputation, Klopp has footballing issues to contend with.
The damage to Liverpool didn’t just come in the form of a verbal attack on the manager; Diogo Jota’s calf injury means he’ll be on the sidelines for months while Luis Diaz is already out. Klopp, whose political allegiance is known to be to the left, needs to find a left winger.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/jurgen-klopp-liverpool-man-city-b2205410.html Jurgen Klopp maintains his composure amid wild false accusations