5 times Klopp morphed into ‘bitter Mourinho’ by bickering with journalists
Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool as an intense but smiley and jovial presence, but six years down the line we have seen plenty of his other side.
While Klopp is a good talker and an engaging presence in press conferences and interviews, he can also bite back when on topics he is passionate about.
The German has shown recently that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of him – and the frequency of his outbursts has led to comparisons with the ultimate feisty media presence.
“Jurgen Klopp is almost if not as bitter as Jose Mourinho when he doesn't win, weird,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
Mourinho has a well established reputation for showing his moody and grumpy side to the media, but it seems Klopp may soon rival the Portuguese boss for sharp-tongued incidents in front of the microphone.
Here are five times the Liverpool boss has snapped to leave himself open to criticism.
The AFCON row
The most recent example of a heated Klopp press conference came just this week, after a journalist took issue with the Liverpool manager describing the African Cup of Nations as a “little tournament”.
Klopp appeared to have been speaking ironically, but the phrase was picked up on by a journalist who felt he was belittling the competition.
“I didn't mean it like that, come on,” Klopp said in an irritated tone. “So I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a ‘little tournament’ or the continent of Africa as a little continent, not at all.
“What I meant was, if you watch the whole press conference then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March now.
“I said ‘oh there's a little tournament in January’ and I didn't mean a little tournament, I was just saying it's still a tournament, it's ironic. It's still a tournament, a big one. We lose our best players to that tournament…”
After the journalist refused to let it drop, Klopp added: “I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time.
“I know that I would never think like this. I don't understand why you thought this to be honest, but that's really not OK as I would never do that. But that is it now.
“It was not my intention but you made something [more] of it, so that is not so cool to be 100 per cent honest.”
The puppy rant
Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat by West Ham at the start of November worked Klopp up into a real rage before his post-match media duties.
He was furious with the decision to allow the Hammers’ opener to stand after a potential foul on Alisson, while Aaron Cresswell’s challenge on Jordan Henderson also went unpunished.
"There are a couple of things that happened during the game that are difficult to take,” he began to BBC Radio 5 Live. “If you don't take your chances you're leaving things up to ref decisions."
When asked about which decisions he was not happy with, Klopp added: "It's really interesting you ask that.
"I'm not sure I want to answer the question if you don't know the situation I'm talking about. Do you not think [Alisson was impeded for the first goal]? Is your job not to have an opinion? Okay that's nice."
The Liverpool boss was then asked about Cresswell's challenge. "My god,” he said. “I'm not your puppy. Hopefully, you have an opinion yourself. All good."
Klopp vs BT Sport round II
One of Klopp’s most frequent gripes is the fixture schedule, which he feels increases the risk of injuries to his side.
While he has moaned plenty of times in press conferences, it is when he comes face to face with BT Sport interviewer Des Kelly when he really lets loose.
Liverpool’s Premier League game against Watford in October was a textbook example, with Klopp unable to field Alisson and Fabinho due to the tight turnaround from the international break.
Quite understandably, Kelly opened with a question about the Brazilian pair, only to be shot down.
Klopp replied furiously: “No, it was because we played at 12:30 and there is no chance they could play them so that’s when we thought we [should] send them to [Madrid].
“It’s not that we thought ‘oh let’s see’. If we would’ve played tonight we could’ve given it a try but we play at 12:30 so there was no chance.
“Who had the idea to bring us at 12:30? Was it Watford? If you [BT Sport] wouldn’t have said it we would’ve had to reply, ah yeah thank you for your help, really, thank you, thank you very much.”
Klopp vs BT Sport round I
Klopp’s original – and best – BT Sport rant came after Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton in November 2020 in another 12:30 kick-off on a Saturday.
Confronted by an incensed Klopp post-match, Kelly chose to stand his ground and a full-blown argument raged in front of the BT Sport cameras.
Klopp began by sarcastically congratulating Kelly for his role in James Milner’s hamstring injury before slamming the broadcaster for selecting Liverpool’s match for TV.
Kelly made it clear that the Liverpool manager was “firing at the wrong target”, but that did not stop him.
"I don't know how often I have to say it: you pick us for 12:30 kick-offs,” he shot back. “You picked it. Not you, personally. But you did, didn't you?”
After a few more minutes of back and forth he finished on another sarcastic note: "You will get praise for your interview because you stuck to [your point], so, great.”
The PlayStation rant
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Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton in March 2019 may not be particularly memorable for the events on the pitch.
But the match certainly did enough to cause a stir after the final whistle.
Klopp was asked why he decided to leave some of his biggest stars on the substitutes’ bench. Bad question, as it turned out.
"I'm really disappointed in your question,” Klopp replied. “Really disappointed. We don't play PlayStation.
“Do you think we didn’t take enough risks today? Was there any draw where we didn’t try to win? Bring on an extra attacker and football changes? It is not like that."
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