Jurgen Klopp: Blame me for Liverpool’s failure

Jurgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp has blamed himself for Liverpool’s title bid unravelling, and revealed he ‘hated’ the Merseyside derby performance so much he would have led a crowd chant demanding more fight from his team.

Klopp cut a sullen figure after two defeats in three league games left Liverpool needing an Arsenal or Manchester City collapse.

He says it is his fault the players have not scrapped for every point and he suggested he has failed in his duties in the title run-in.

“In Germany when the crowd is not happy with the team and they think they are not fighting enough they sing a song ‘Wir wollen euch kämpfen sehen’ that translates into ‘we want to see you fight!’ I was close to singing that,” said Klopp.

“Never has one of my teams heard that ever. Never. I never heard them say my team didn’t fight because my team [always] went for it. And now it’s: ‘Wow, how can that happen?’”

Jurgen Klopp shouts
Klopp said he hate Liverpool's performance and was not about to blame injuries for his side's drop-off in form - Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool’s disintegration in the run-in has been attributed to several factors; injuries (Diogo Jota), players lacking peak form fitness after returning from injury (Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai) and others having to overplay and showing the effects of a gruelling schedule (Alexis Mac Allister).

While Klopp recognised those influences, he said it is no excuse for the manner in which Liverpool played at Goodison Park.

“It’s really strange but I hated our game,” he said.

“We were not even close to what we want to be, I never understood it like that where I just sit there and [think], ‘Well he does not want it, or he doesn’t want it’, because I know they want it.

“So it is my job to make sure that they can [do it]. I don’t know exactly, but somehow it happened that we didn’t see the positivity in the situation any more; that we are where we are, a good starting point so let’s go and let’s chase the others and bang. But you can only chase in a positive way.

“You saw the game. It wasn’t the first [bad] one but it was the worst one.

“And that is what I really see. I see two teams [Arsenal and City] who play really positive football and go for it. And we can do that, but we don’t at this moment. Who can I make responsible for that? It is not about individuals – ‘you and you and you’ – that doesn’t make sense.

“It’s my job until the last day to make sure that the boys feel that. And again the [Everton] game was just horrible to watch.

“Again, easy question, who could be responsible for it? That is how I understand the job. And that is what I try to do all the time. Sometimes it works out and this time for whatever reason it didn’t but I will try it again.”

Klopp acknowledged the let-down has been at the point in the season when title contenders kick on; Liverpool instead going backwards.

“You create a basis for the majority of the season until the finishing line is in sight and then its ‘let’s go for it’, and that should be the most positive thing. And we did that in the past, winning all the games [in the run-in] and now we can’t do it for a variety of reasons,” he said.

“We had injuries to four players who never had injuries like that before. Coming back, playing well, but it is not consistent that we can go ‘next one, next one, next one getting better’, so that for sure is a problem.

“The boys also had a crazy schedule. And this [four-game] schedule now, finishing with tomorrow’s game, is absolute madness, we all know that: Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday is crazy.

“But we don’t go for easy excuses. We think, and the boys do as well, that we should do better. And now we have to find a way to do much better at West Ham.

“I believe that you have to feel defeats and it [Everton] was a tough one. You can lose a game, but if you don’t learn from it, it is a double defeat. And we have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

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