Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims that his side have any advantage in the Premier League title race due to playing no European football this season, according to the Mirror.
Liverpool are joint top of the table after 10 games – level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal – following a 4-2 weekend win at Crystal Palace.
In the Champions League in Europe this week Manchester City play Barcelona, while Arsenal face a long trip to Bulgaria to play Ludogorets.
However Klopp says he doesn’t believe Liverpool’s extra opportunity to rest will make a difference.
Jurgen Klopp said: “Everyone talks about this but I think 80 to 90 per cent of the time in Europe, the teams becoming champions are in the Champions League.”
Successful clubs have larger squads full of quality. “That’s how it is. Why? Because they have quality, they can rotate, they can rest whenever. It’s not too cool when you are not successful.”
Maybe they find the answer
“Sometimes it’s an advantage, but in the end, why does a team win the league with all these intense games in midweek?”
I am hoping that should we finish in the top 4 next season that Klopp and his team are also able to be successful. “Maybe they find an answer.” Hopefully Klopp too will find that answer.
Klopp went on to insist that despite the fact Liverpool scored four goals at Selhurst Park his job is to only make the team win, not entertain. “We don’t do it because we want to show something, we do it because it helps us.”
I love his comments about defending “The best kind of defending is keeping the ball.” A collective responsibility. Working as a team to achieve the overall goal!!
We need to play football
“It’s quite logical. When you have these boys it makes sense. People spoke about us a lot last year as being a counter-attacking team.” It’s easy when you have a skillful team. And boy are they a skillful one!! “The boys are really skilled, so we need to play football, we can’t just shoot and run.”
I understand what Klopp is saying about Champions League squads winning the league. The distractions let alone the added pressure and demands of the travel and midweek games.
I am sure not having those distractions and added time on the training ground is exactly what the squad needs. We have a young and inexperienced squad – time to gel and grow together is what is needed.
The real test will be next season. Can we challenge for the league whilst playing mid-week European games? I am sure with the grounding the young squad is getting this season it will be a much easier task.