Jurgen Klopp’s recent mind games are reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, according to Rio Ferdinand, who claims the Liverpool boss is trying to deflect attention away from his players.
The German embarked on a bizarre rant after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Brighton in his post match TV interview, blaming BT Sport for the Premier League’s fixture congestion after James Milner picked up an injury.
Klopp has complained about the pile-up a number of times this season and has described the scheduling as a ‘crime’ as his squad continues to be hit by fitness problems. Goalkeeper Alisson has become the latest victim after pulling his hamstring while has also lost Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold of late.
Jurgen Klopp’s mind games at Liverpool are reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson after his TV rant last weekend, says former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand
He said Sir Alex Ferguson helped ‘control the narrative’ at United with rants in his interviews
The Reds still managed to sneak a 1-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League despite their depleted numbers. After the game, Ferdinand said Klopp was making the comments to take the pressure off his stars and compared the tactic with his legendary former United boss Ferguson.
Ferdinand played 432 games under the 13-time Premier League winner, and said the Scot helped ‘control the narrative’ with outbursts in the media – something he claimed Klopp was doing ‘very well’.
‘Sometimes he’d (Ferguson) do a team talk after a game and be as calm as you like and then he’d go out for an interview and we’d see him on the TV screen and he would be going bananas about a decision no-one had even thought about,’ he said on BT.
Ferdinand said the tactic used by Klopp can help deflect attention away from your players
‘But that took the spotlight off someone else or something else that could derail us. He controlled the narrative and I think that’s what Klopp is doing very well at the moment.
‘Maybe sometimes he’s talking about stuff outside of that (game) which can take away from the performance or the little creaks that happen within the 90 minutes.’
His fellow pundit Peter Crouch agreed that the best managers are skilled at ‘getting an edge’ and creating a ‘you versus us’ mentality.
‘Sir Alex Ferguson, over the years, always talked about international football and the fixture list (after games),’ he said.
The German has suffered a mounting injury list and has fumed at the recent fixture congestion
‘[Jose] Mourinho too. All the best managers do it and they’re trying to get an edge.
‘They all want to get one up. I think it helps in the dressing room (that mentality) ‘of everyone is against us because we’re the best and “nobody is going to give us any help”.
‘I think that helps in the dressing room of you versus us.’
Liverpool are still second in the table despite their injury woes, but that didn’t stop Klopp unleashing his fury during an eight-minute back and forth with Kelly.
The 53-year-old turned the tables on the presenter and said BT were responsible for causing Liverpool’s injuries because they ‘pick’ the kick-off times.
He has regularly hit out at the scheduling and blamed BT Sport for picking the kick-off times
‘Well you work for them,’ Klopp told Kelly. ‘I don’t know how often I have to say it, but you pick the 12:30 kick offs.
‘Between now and December there is one more Wednesday, Saturday. These are difficult times. I am just saying it how it is. Wednesday to Saturday 12:30 is really dangerous.’
But despite Kelly’s explanation that the Premier League hold the final say, Klopp fired back once again as part of his fiery rant.
He added: ‘Why did you pick us against Crystal Palace then? You rely on things we agreed in another time.
‘When we had the talk between the managers a week ago, it was 15-5 if not 16-4 for five subs, since then nothing happened.’