12 Dec Jurgen Klopp stands by view of Everton penalty but admits emotions got to him
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he cannot change his emotional responses but said he had not changed his mind about Everton’s penalty at the weekend.
The Reds boss has often been criticised for his animated reactions on the touchline but his behaviour came under more scrutiny after a tetchy television interview minutes after Everton secured a 1-1 draw an Anfield on Sunday with a spot-kick he felt should not have been given.
Klopp’s cantankerous mood did not improve in his press conference later when his request for a show of hands from those who disagreed with him was met with the majority of the room responding.
However, the German insists he was just offering a genuine response and has no regrets about how it played out.
“I would give the same interview now. The information I had to give would be the same but now I am completely relaxed but it was five minutes after the game and I was not relaxed,” he said.
“It is always the same, you look into the eyes of the journalist and see he is not interested what you feel and sometimes that feels not that cool. That is why I reacted how I reacted.
“It is nothing, I didn’t use any words I have to take back. I don’t like it but I am pretty sure I cannot change it because I felt like this in this moment and I am not an actor, I cannot act differently.
“But meanwhile I can keep myself that calm that nothing serious happens in situations like this. I don’t think anyone remembers it to be honest or watch it back and say ‘That was hilarious’ or ‘It was legendary’. It was just an interview, nothing else.”
Part of Klopp’s frustrations from the weekend were rooted in the fact he felt the side he put out – with Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino on the bench as two of six changes – should have done enough to beat their near-neighbours.
The team selection came under scrutiny after Everton claimed a point, but numerous switches have been a regular occurrence for several weeks now as the Reds boss seeks to manage his squad through a busy period.
Last year they fell apart in January, winning just one FA Cup game, as injuries scuppered an unlikely title bid, and with Champions League football to contend with this season Klopp is trying to avoid a repeat scenario.
So far he has made 59 changes to his starting 11 this season. Only Manchester United in 2002 have made more in Premier League history at this stage of the campaign.
“If we had the squad last year we would have done it last year,” added Klopp, who will make more changes for the visit of West Brom.
“When you get injuries in November what we had last year then you cannot rotate in December because the players are not there and then you suffer in January.
“It is not really to change and the players come back in January who were injured in November but they were not in the same shape as November. For all these games I really think if we have the quality in the squad that we have we have to use it.
“You cannot play the same 11 players all the time until four are injured and then you hope the other four who come in – who are quality but have no rhythm – will perform for you. That is not likely.”