Jurgen Klopp targeted for criticism again and it might be time for Liverpool to change


What Jurgen Klopp and the FA Cup bring out criticism from the Liverpool boss?
They were there again after the Reds started their campaign with an ultimately comfortable third round victory at Villa Park on Friday.

The problem? Klopp fielded a TOO strong squad against an Aston Villa squad made up of Academy youth due to a major coronavirus outbreak among the first team and coaching staff.

“To be honest I was a bit disappointed that Liverpool didn’t go with an U23 team,” former Villa, Millwall and Chelsea forward Tony Cascarino said on talkSPORT.

“I would have liked if Klopp had left,” you know what, just because we’re Liverpool and we respect what happened at Villa Park, we will also go with the U23 “. ”

To be fair, Cascarino’s comments were hardly the sharpest, later accepting that he understood Klopp’s decision.

But that was symptomatic of the reaction to many of the Liverpool boss’s FA Cup choices.

Since arriving at Anfield more than five years ago, he has been repeatedly accused of disrespecting the competition – albeit for completely contrasting reasons.

Klopp was vilified after his first FA Cup experience in January 2016 by fielding a scratch team that had just 34 appearances between them for the third round at Exeter City.

A similar accusation was leveled at him 12 months later, when Liverpool’s youngest starting line-up faced Plymouth Argyle.

And more of the same happened last year when Klopp begged his senior players and staff to use the mid-winter break introduced in the Premier League, leaving former Under-23 boss Neil Critchley take charge of an Academy team in the fourth round of reading with Shrewsbury Town. at Anfield.

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But all of these games had one thing in common: Liverpool finally progressed.

Indeed, a possible elimination came when Klopp introduced many more senior players to the squad, notably in 2018 when a full-strength Reds were knocked out at home by West Bromwich Albion.

Of course, Klopp mixed and matched his rosters in the competition and gave several fringe and young players a rare opportunity. But the same goes for most Premier League clubs.

And Klopp is not the first Liverpool boss to be accused of humiliating the FA Cup.

Rafael Benitez faced the same criticism after a terrible loss to Burnley in 2005. As if to prove a point, the Spaniard then led the Reds to their most recent FA Cup triumph the following season.

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But it hasn’t escaped the attention that Klopp remains the only Liverpool manager in the past 60 years to take charge of an FA Cup campaign and not at least reach a semi-final during their tenure.

Maybe it’s time for that to change, especially with the removal of replays removing another pet peeve from the Reds boss.

Klopp’s squad selection last Friday showed no disrespect. Instead, he suggested Liverpool were set to have a serious FA Cup tilt this year.


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