football

Klopp should follow Mourinho's lead and deal with congested fixture list


IF Jurgen Klopp wants to know how he has misjudged the fixture scheduling argument, the words of Jose Mourinho should ring an alarm bell.

“We have to adapt to it and that’s the way it is.”

And when many nod in agreement with Mourinho, you should know there is a problem.

Klopp says it is “nearly a crime” that Liverpool have to face Brighton at 12.30pm on a Saturday after playing Atalanta at 8pm the previous Wednesday.

No, it is not.

What is nearly a crime is this incessant carping about an itinerary that is busy – and no worse than that. Just wait until Christmas comes.

The folly of Klopp and his Big Six management allies pointing the finger at broadcasters has been highlighted here and elsewhere many, many times.

If you want control of your fixtures, don’t sell your soul for the maximum amount of dollars. Simple as that.



Jurgen Klopp has regularly bemoaned the fixture schedule

Where does the £75million for Virgil van Dijk come from? The £10million a year for Klopp?

From the television deal, that’s where.

And the TV companies want bang for their buck. It’s known as quid pro quo. Or five billion quid pro quo.

If you want to retake control of your fixture list, hand the dosh back and become more frugal.

That will not happen, of course, so clubs have to tackle their schedule in the best way they see fit.

Klopp, like every other Premier League manager, has 25 players in his squad.



Harry Wilson in action for Cardiff City. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
Harry Wilson is one of several Liverpool stars out on loan

He also has 52 under-21 players registered with the Premier League. There are 12 Liverpool players out on loan.

Klopp’s suggestion he might not be able to raise an eleven by the end of the season – if they continue with the pesky 12.30 Saturday games – is laughable.

It is not the same for everyone. Clubs without European commitments do not have as many fixtures, obviously.

But clubs, generally, don’t have European commitments for a reason. Their squads are generally not strong enough, so the playing field should level itself out.

If you did not know Klopp better, if you did not know he has complete faith in a wonderful squad, it sounds a little like getting excuses in early.

And it is a faintly dangerous game, almost giving his players an excuse to be tired.



Jose Mourinho has been content to deal with the overload of games

They will not take advantage because they have the mentality of champions. This is a squad of players that have not lost a home league game in three and a half years.

Klopp won’t admit it but this is a squad of players that comes across as indefatigable.

And there is a broader picture. There are plenty of things to complain about right now and having to play a football match two and a half days after the previous one is not one of them.

Klopp has every right to worry about the welfare of his players and if he really does believe this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off is “nearly a crime”, fair enough.

But the players-getting-tired routine is becoming tiresome.

To paraphrase Jose, it’s time for Klopp to just get on with it.

Are Liverpool being asked to play too many games? Have your say here .

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