Sunday, March 3, 2024

Keep calm and carry on: Jurgen Klopp says the show goes on at ‘stable’ Liverpool

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jan 2024

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged everyone to stay calm when it comes to handling the futures of some of their biggest stars.

Virgil van Dijk, who along with Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold has 18 months left on his contract, has said he was curious to see where the club was heading with Klopp’s departure pending and admitted he did not know whether he would be part of a new era at Anfield.

That has sparked concerns a period of inertia – Liverpool currently do not have a sporting director in place after Jorg Schmadtke’s short-term appointment was ended – until the identity of the new manager is known could lead to the break up of a squad which Klopp believes has been rebuilt sufficiently to continue challenging after he has gone.

Asked whether there was a danger the squad could break up, Klopp said: “No, I don’t think so but it is completely normal.

“It was always clear, when I spoke about what I spoke about, the outside world will not give you a second to process it, to think about it. It is ‘what are you doing?’.

“A week ago when no one knew about my decision and there were 18 months on the contracts, nobody asked. So give us a break, give the boys a break.

“Nobody has to worry. This club is stable, 100 per cent, and everything will be fine, I am 100 per cent sure, and the rest we have to get through. I would recommend to stay calm in this department, massively.”

Klopp argued it would have been unfair and disrespectful to players who have played a major part in their success together to tie them down to new contracts when they had no idea he would not be manager next season.

The German informed owners Fenway Sports Group of his decision in November but the players were not told until Friday. However, Klopp said there is plenty of time to sort their futures.

“The club knew about my departure for a while and could have used the time and tied the players down and then I say ‘by the way, I’m not here anymore’, and they say ‘hey, what? No one told us that’,” he added.

“You cannot work like that, especially not with the relationship we have. There is enough time to do everything.

“These players love to be here, I know that for a fact, don’t forget that. It is not that they have one foot out. They want to know a little bit of perspective but that will happen, especially behind the scenes.

“If the boys have to think about these things, that is a human right. Before you make a decision about whatever, that is completely normal. Don’t worry. It is all fine.”

Player contracts is just the first issue to arise since Klopp’s announcement and it shows the desire for there not to be any distractions is misguided.

It comes in a huge week for the Premier League leaders, who host Chelsea on Wednesday before travelling to Arsenal at the weekend.

After a month when he was without a number of players the direction of travel in that respect has changed with Alexis Mac Allister rejoining the squad after missing the weekend as a precaution.

Even fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who has not played since April because of a hip injury, has returned to training but the wait for Mohamed Salah’s recovery from a hamstring issue sustained on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Egypt goes on even though his country have now been eliminated.

“There was no pressure in it besides the fact that you want to get fit as quick as possible anyway. We cannot rush it,” he said.

“If we could rush the healing process believe me Thiago would not have been out for 10 months. It is not possible.”

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