Klopp does not fear the sack from Liverpool's 'calm' owners after Tuchel's Chelsea dismissal

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's owners "expect me to sort it out" when asked if he feared going the same way as compatriot Thomas Tuchel.

Klopp's fellow German coach was dismissed by Chelsea on Wednesday, with new Blues owner Todd Boehly cutting ties with the former Paris Saint-Germain boss in the wake of Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

That was Tuchel's 100th match in charge of Chelsea in all competitions. In his 18 months at the helm, he guided the Blues to a Champions League success, a Super Cup triumph and Club World Cup glory, as well as three domestic finals.

Chelsea failed to win any of those three domestic finals, with two of them coming as penalty shoot-out losses to Klopp's Liverpool last season.

The Reds, meanwhile, have hardly enjoyed a strong start to the new campaign. A 9-0 hammering of Bournemouth aside, Liverpool have looked a shadow of their best, and were thrashed 4-1 by Napoli in their opening Champions League match on Wednesday.

It was the heaviest defeat suffered by an English side in their Champions League opener since Arsenal lost 3-0 to Inter in 2003, while it also marked Liverpool's joint-worst loss in the competition.

Yet asked if he was worried for his future, Klopp – who has been at Anfield since 2015 – told reporters: "Not really, but who knows? The difference [between us and Chelsea] is we have different kinds of owners.

"Ours are calm and expect me to sort it and not think someone else will."

Klopp has plenty of goodwill in the bank, given the enormous success he has enjoyed at Liverpool, taking the Reds to three Champions League finals, and winning one in 2019, as well as their maiden Premier League title (2020) and winning both of England's domestic cups this year.

Jamie Carragher, who helped Liverpool win the Champions League in 2005, is concerned as to what the immediate future might hold, however.

Carragher, a pundit for CBS Sports, said: "The problem is not that game, forget this game, for me the big worry is that is this almost something that’s going to carry on through the season, is this the end of a cycle, have Liverpool massively got their transfer ideas wrong?

"This team looks so far off it and it has been at full pelt for five or six years under Jurgen Klopp and in seven games Liverpool have played this season, they've conceded the first goal in five, so they're not starting games well.

"I'm not going to criticise their attitude because what this team have done, certainly in Europe, the Premier League – the mentality is fantastic – but is this a massive drop off physically? Can this team get it back, that's the worry for me. What's going to happen in the future for this team?

"This is only the fourth game Liverpool have lost in 2022, it shows how consistent they've been, but the performances, more than the results, are what's worrying me right now."

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    Pep Guardiola believes making more history is "extra motivation" for Manchester City as they prepare for the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday.

    City became the first side to win the English top-flight in four successive seasons after edging Arsenal to the title on the final day by two points.

    On Saturday, they have the chance to win an unprecedented back-to-back league and FA Cup doubles against United if they win the FA Cup.

    Guardiola says making history is a benefit for his side, but they should already have all the motivation they need to win at Wembley.

    "If history gives us a chance to do something not done before, try it," Guardiola said.

    "Maybe [it will be] extra motivation for players. I didn't speak about this specifically to the players. Playing for a win, a trophy, is enough.

    "No teams have done four in a row; none have done back-to-back doubles. That is because it is not easy.

    "We are going to London to perform well. [It's the] same routine, not forgotten - defending our crown one year until next season.

    "We are happy, satisfied. Saturday we will go for it with all we have. I want to be beaten because they were better, not because we weren't who we are."

    City finished the Premier League season 31 points better off than their city rivals as United finished in their lowest-ever league position in the competition.

    Despite the vast difference between the sides this season, Guardiola backed the Red Devils to bounce back.

    "The respect is there," he added. "[You] can't compare, the last Premier League to first Premier League.

    "I won't compare United to another period, it's unfair. Our team is here, maybe tomorrow [it is] different. It can be different, nothing is eternal. I'm sure United will work to come up again."

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  • James advises Slot to block out Man City and target 90 points in first Liverpool season James advises Slot to block out Man City and target 90 points in first Liverpool season

    Arne Slot should block out any noise around trying to catch Manchester City and instead set his sights on compiling 90 points in his first season in charge of Liverpool.

    That is the view of former Liverpool goalkeeper David James, who believes securing Champions League football should be seen as the minimum requirement for former Feyenoord boss Slot, who is replacing Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

    While Klopp lifted the EFL Cup in his final campaign as manager, James feels it is very difficult for Premier League teams to set any targets relating to any silverware due to the consistent dominance of City under Pep Guardiola.

    City have won an unprecedented four straight Premier League titles and will face rivals Manchester United this weekend at Wembley in an attempt to win back-to-back FA Cup crowns. Guardiola also has four EFL Cup trophies to his name.

    James feels Slot should therefore focus only on what he can control and believes 90 points is an aspirational target that will at least put the Reds in contention.

    Liverpool made it to 82 points in 2023-24, which saw them finish nine behind Man City and seven adrift of second-placed Arsenal.

    That tally was comfortably enough to seal a return to the Champions League for next season, a status which James says Slot must ensure he maintains.

    "As we have seen under Jurgen Klopp, the fantastic manager, there are teams around in the Premier League who don't really care what you think you want to do, namely Manchester City," James said to Stats Perform when asked what Slot's minimum target should be.

    "There could invariably be a situation where whatever it is, such as if Pep decides it is his last season, then it might be fairytale stuff again, that he goes for the quadruple and he does it.

    "Then it doesn't matter [what your targets are], no one wins anything domestically. 

    "The minimum requirement, which Pep can't stop you from doing, has to be qualifying for the Champions League of course. But beyond that, I think it's just getting the performances. 

    "If you get 90 points, and I know this has happened to Liverpool and they have got records to prove it, but if you get 90 points or even more and still don't win the league, then it's not down to you doing something wrong, it's down to the excellence of whoever finishes above you. 

    "I would say minimum Champions League qualification and then just going for 90 points and see where it takes you. As I say, 90 points is the benchmark in the Premier League.

    "You know, it isn't that difficult to achieve when you think about it. You can literally lose to the four best teams, again subjectively, four best teams, home and away, and as long as you beat the others, the other 30 games, that's 90 points.

    "Who cares [which teams you beat]? You don't get an extra three points for beating the teams above you. It's just winning."

    James expects to see plenty of movement in the transfer window now that there have been substantial changes to the staff, but says Slot and his coaching team may not always get their own way.

    He added: "I do [expect a lot of movement]. There are a couple of things to say. The analysis department will have their numbers, they'll know who they need to keep, they'll know who they need to replace and obviously they'll know who they need or want to bring in. 

    "This wasn't just about Jurgen leaving, this was the whole staff going. This is a massive shift, and everybody [left at the club] has their opinion [on the squad], even the analysis guys.

    "[Those opinions] might encourage or discourage the manager from making choices, whether it's selection choices in games or whether it's selection choices for transfers. 

    "The conversation with Slot will be a whole room of [new] opinions added to a data analysis group [trying] to find replacements because some of the players are leaving. 

    "With transfers I think it will cause a little bit of a ruffle. It will be done for the right reasons but I don't think there'll be a situation where Slot will just bring the ones he likes in. 

    "It will be a group decision with the analysis department. It will need to be the right players and, as Liverpool have proven under Jurgen's tenure, when they get it right, they are very successful."

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