‘Defeatist’ - BBC pundit questions ‘negative’ Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

The Reds boss commented on the financial situation at two Premier League rivals earlier this week.
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Former Premier League winner Chris Sutton has described Jurgen Klopp as ‘defeatist’ after he suggested Liverpool were could not compete financially with Manchester City.

The two sides met in an eagerly anticipated clash at Anfield on Sunday afternoon but much of the pre-match buildup revolved around Klopp’s comments about the cash-rich owners of their opponents and fellow Premier League rivals Newcastle United.

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Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Reds manager said: “Nobody can compete with City. You have the best team in the world, and you put in the best striker on the market. No matter what it costs, you just do it. I know City will not like it, nobody will like it.”

Klopp also hit out at comments from Newcastle’s sporting director Dan Ashworth after he suggested there was ‘no ceiling’ for the Magpies ambitions following the controversial Saudi Arabia-led takeover at St James Park last season.

“What does Liverpool do? We cannot act like them,” Klopp added.

“It is not possible. Not possible. It is just clear, and again, you know the answer. There are three clubs in world football [Man City, PSG and Newcastle] who can do what they want financially. It’s legal and everything, fine, but they can do what they want.

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“They will say, ‘yeah, but we have...’ but it’s exactly the fact. I heard now that at Newcastle, somebody said, ‘there is no ceiling for this club’. Yes! He is right. He is absolutely right. There is no ceiling for Newcastle. Congratulations, but other clubs have ceilings.”

Klopp’s comments have provoked much discussion, with many insisting the German was correct to suggest that the riches available to their Premier League rivals had left him facing an uphill battle.

But the former Borussia Dortmund manager was not without his critics as some supporters pointed out the significant fees Liverpool paid out for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and summer signing Darwin Nunez.

Former Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea striker Sutton joined those to speak against the Reds boss, suggesting Klopp had been negative in his comments.

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He told BBC Sport: ”One concern this week; there is context to what Jurgen Klopp said about ‘we can’t compete’’. He was talking about financially. But I said to [BBC’s John Murray] this afternoon, when did we ever hear Jurgen Klopp talk so negatively before, like that.

“When he first came to the club there was none of that negative talk and you just wonder who that message was for? How the players would respond to that message, how the fanbase would respond to that message. That’s defeatist from Jurgen Klopp.

“That’s why this match this afternoon is so, so big for him because if Manchester City wipe the floor with Liverpool there will be questions about whether he is still up for the fight, whether he is still motivated.”

Sutton was also unsure whether Klopp’s comments were made towards Liverpool owners FSG and stated Reds supporters may have been left surprised by their manager’s comments.

He said: “Well say it’s a message ‘up’ (to the owners) then. He hasn’t clarified it’s a message ‘up’. The supporters will be listening to that and thinking ‘ blimey, this is very un-Klopp-like.”