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´Elephant in the room´ Klopp does not fear Liverpool sack

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Apr 2023

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Jurgen Klopp feels like “the elephant in the room” after Graham Potter was sacked by Chelsea on Sunday.

Potter was dismissed less than seven months into his tenure at Stamford Bridge, following a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa that left Chelsea 11th in the Premier League.

Next up for the Blues is a home game against Liverpool, with Klopp’s side licking their wounds after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.

Liverpool are enduring a miserable season by their lofty standards. The Reds are eighth, eight points back from fourth-placed Manchester United, having lost nine league games, while they are out of the FA Cup and Champions League.

And Klopp is aware it is the success of previous campaigns that is keeping him in a job.

“The elephant in the room is why I’m still sitting here, in this crazy world. Last man standing,” Klopp told reporters.

“I’m aware of the fact that I’m sitting here because of the past, not because of what we did this season.

“If it was my first season, that would be slightly different. Yes, we have smart owners, they know about the situation, but you better ask them yourselves.”

Asked if he was afraid of becoming the 13th Premier League boss to lose their job this season, Klopp replied: “No, no. But I don’t think that Graham was afraid!

“There’s no need to be afraid, I’m here to deliver. I’m not here as a talisman or whatever, or for murals on walls. I’m here to deliver, nothing else in my mind. But I know I’m here because of the last few years.

“I don’t like the fact that I have to pretty much rely on that. Is it right or not? We will see in the future. I am fully in, there’s no doubt, but we have to sort it.

“We cannot just continue playing like we do from time to time. Not always, thank God, but from time to time – it’s really not allowed. I’m really disappointed by us, that we do these kind of things, but they happen. We have to find a way out, that’s what we’re working on.”

Potter’s dismissal followed on from Brendan Rodgers losing his job at Leicester City, with the Foxes in 19th place.

The pair of departures came a week on from Tottenham cutting ties with Antonio Conte.

“I think both clubs [Chelsea and Leicester] are not where they expect to be,” Klopp said. “I cannot say a lot more about it. I respect them a lot. I like them both. When I met them, really good people, fantastic managers, both of them, but still, things can go the wrong way.

“When decision-makers at a club think they have to change, then they change. I think we all accept that’s part of the business.

“That’s it, a strange week. Conte was the last week, [Julian] Nagelsmann [sacked by Bayern Munich], and now these two. The season gets into a decisive part and people are afraid of maybe not reaching their targets.

“You would have to ask the decisive people what they will say about it. For all four I mentioned, the managing future is still bright. It’s not a disaster.”

Klopp was unsure how much Potter’s dismissal would impact Chelsea, noting he expects the Blues to set up in a similar system.

One thing he was sure about was the reaction that is required from Liverpool.

“As badly [needed] as possible,” Klopp said, before calling the defeat to City a “super strange game”.

“It’s unacceptable, but it happened anyway. Now we have to make sure we are ready, that’s it,” he added.

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