18 Dec 2015

Anfield Flop: Boss slates Liverpool for '£200m' mega-fail and slams Klopp for 'disappointing' post-match comments

In the aftermath of Liverpool's recent failure to beat West Brom, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp refused to shake Tony Pulis' hand, and accused the Midlands team of 'only playing long balls'. Irrespective of the style of play, Liverpool struggled to beat a comparatively inferior team at home, and Pulis has now ridiculed Klopp's long ball claim, and poured scorn on the Reds' expensively assembled squad.

On Sunday, Klopp scathed:

"They [WB] only played long balls. They only wanted set plays, so it was really, really hard".

Speaking to reporters today, Pulis dismissed Klopp's complaints about his team:

“It was disappointing but he can say what he wants. We apologise we actually played three longer passes in 99 minutes than Liverpool did in that game.”

Pulis also highlighted the financial disparity between the two clubs, and delivered the following withering assessment:

“If I had a team that was worth £200m playing against a team worth less than £20m and never won that game, then I’d be doing my best to divert it away from the fact that I had 10 times more value and couldn’t win".

A few points:

* Pulis is only half-right: according to OPTA stats, West Brom played 77 long passes during the game, which is 11 more than Liverpool's 66 LPs. The overall point is still right, though: There wasn't a massive difference in the number of long-balls played, and certainly not enough for Klopp to use it against West Brom.

* Pulis is 100% spot on about the transfer fee issue. Liverpool is filled with expensive players, and many of them (Lallana, Firmino et al) constantly underperform. On paper, the Reds should be beating West Brom, and scraping a draw in the 96th minute *at home* is pretty embarrassing.

* Klopp moans that playing against West Brom was 'really, really hard' due to their physicality and long-ball approach. Well, all I can say is: deal with it! This is the Premier League, and that is par for the course. There's no point moaning about it, and using opposition long-balls as an excuse for failing to win a *home* game is lame in the extreme. It's an invalid reason, and should never (IMO) be used.

* Klopp's failure to shake Pulis' hand was out of order. Irrespective of how the game played out, Klopp failed to represent Liverpool in the best way possible. It's not just about him; the manager is an ambassador for the club, and fair-play/sportsmanship should be respected. I hope FSG and/or Ian Ayre impresses upon Klopp the importance of this point, especially after the tsunami of negative publicity that accompanied the Suarez/Evra handshake fiasco.

I may be an LFC fan, but looking at the situation objectively, it's hard to find fault with Pulis' comments here. West Brom played their normal game, which they're perfectly entitled to do, and as significantly more expensive/talented home team, it was Liverpool's job to break down the opposition and win the game.

The fault for failing to achieve that lies with Liverpool, not West Brom.

Combine the handshake fail with Klopp's embarrassing post-match team celebration, and the Reds have come out of this game with very little credit, and a whole barrage of negative publicity (with current players and pundits publicly labelling Klopp an 'idiot', a 'clown', and a 'fool).

Ultimately, it was an ignominious day all-round for Liverpool, and what makes it worse is that the entire West Brom team cost less than Adam Lallana.

What a farce.

Author: Jaimie K


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