Liverpool great Phil Thompson has spoken out on the future of Jurgen Klopp to Express Sport.
Phil Thompson has scoffed at claims that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is running out of time at Anfield. The legendary former defender has warned those who want the German out to “be careful what you wish for”.
Liverpool’s poor start to this season led to the first real question marks over Klopp’s future since he took the job in 2015. The Reds were languishing near mid table and saw their title hopes blow up in the opening few weeks of the campaign.
Klopp’s side bounced back from a humbling 4-1 defeat to Napoli by qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League. They ended the first part of the season before the break for the World Cup with back-to-back Premier League wins over Tottenham and Southampton.
But previous defeats to the likes of Nottingham Forest and Leeds saw some raise question marks over Klopp’s long-term future. But, speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Thompson has ridiculed those who think Klopp’s time is up.
“We won two trophies, got 92 points in a Premier League season where most of the time would win it except you’re coming up against this City side. We should have won the Champions League, only for an absolute worldie performance from Thibaut Courtois, and then a couple of months later the season starts, and two-and-a-half months in, people are questioning Jurgen Klopp and saying things.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. First thing is, who would we get any better? Every other football club in the Premier League would love Jurgen Klopp.
“Everyone should be thinking be ‘careful what you wish for’ in life. Certainly in football management, we have one of the best.
“He’s committed to us now and I think the fella is an absolutely fantastic manager and hopefully for many years to come. For what he’s done for us, absolutely (he deserves to leave on his own terms). If and when, that should be down to Jurgen.”
So what has been the problem for Liverpool this season? Thompson has dismissed any thought that it is down to the departure of Sadio Mane in the summer.
He instead thinks an air of complacency perhaps set in following the Community Shield win over Manchester City. Thompson also reckons Liverpool have failed to pick up wins when not playing at their best – something they were previously good at under Klopp.
He added: “I think the Community Shield win against Manchester City had a little bit of a reverse effect. I think some of our players thought ‘oh it’s business as usual, we’re just going to carry on as normal’ and we were a little too relaxed going into the season.
“On the other hand, I think it gave City the kick up the backside and Pep’s gone ‘this is where you’ve got to get to, you’ve got to get your act together’ and they got their act together. And I think the old adage of Liverpool always finding a way to get results when not playing well has not happened this year.
“I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s gone on. You don’t play well all the time but if you can find a way, which we have done for the last few years of winning when you’re not playing well, that’s a team that is going to win trophies.”