Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Jurgen Klopp wrong to question Atletico’s style of play

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 12 Mar 2020

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I must admit it’s hard to dislike Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, even as a fan of the club across Stanley Park. I liked his team’s style of play during his time managing Dortmund. However, my admiration for the German is slowly ebbing away.

A bad loser

Liverpool exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage on Wednesday night. The Reds suffered a 4-2 aggregate defeat after extra-time against Spanish team Atletico Madrid.

Speaking after the game, his reaction to the defeat was less than gracious. Sky Sports quotes Klopp as saying “I don’t understand with the quality they have the football they play. They could play proper football but they stand deep and have counter-attacks.

“I realise I am a really bad loser, especially when the boys put such an effort in against world-class players on the other side who defend with two rows of four. It doesn’t feel right tonight, to be honest.”

At least he knows how he came across after the interview. He was annoyed and frustrated by the defeat. However, what did he expect Atletico to do? Did he expect them to completely change their style that has been successful for years, just so his team could steamroller them?

Champions find a way to combat different styles of play

Liverpool are by and far the best team in the Premier League. They have proven that by beating virtually every team in the English top-flight so far. Those teams all had different styles of play. Liverpool have overcome all the different styles and that is why they will be crowned champions in May.

That is what champions do. They find a way to combat different styles of play and prevail. Some would say that Atletico were lucky to go through. However, they got the touch of luck that Liverpool themselves have enjoyed in recent seasons.

On a footballing level, if Los Rojiblancos went toe-to-toe with Liverpool at Anfield there would be only one winner. There is no right way to win football matches. Most prefer to watch, exciting, attacking football, but not all teams have the resources to play in that way.

Diego Simeone has built a style of play at Atletico that has allowed his team to compete against all odds against the biggest teams in Europe. Until the last few seasons, he has done it on a relatively small budget compared to most top teams.

Will still end their long wait for a top-flight title

Liverpool may be out of the Champions League, but this season will still be a massive success for the Reds, as they will finally end their long wait for an English top-flight title. Klopp’s team are now odds of 1/1000 to win the Premier League title.

Most of the time Klopp is an engaging and intelligent guy. However, maybe the emotion of his team’s exit got the better of the German in his post-match interview.

In my opinion, he was wrong to question Atletico’s style of play. They were there to be beaten and Liverpool couldn’t find a way past them. It happens even to the best of teams occasionally. Maybe Klopp will be more gracious when his team does finally end their long wait for a title.

Was Jurgen Klopp right to question Atletico Madrid’s style of play after Liverpool’s exit from the Champions League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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