Klopp’s decision that neither he nor his Liverpool top XI team will be on hand for the replay against Shrewsbury Town on 4th or 5th Feb has prompted heated debate, drawing criticism from some quarters, particularly Accrington Stanley owner, Andy Holt, who slammed Klopp as ‘a disgrace’ for his firm stance and launched a scathing tirade against the German manager on Twitter:
“He’s a disgrace. I’ll never understand why top clubs and top @premierleague players don’t stand up and stay united with clubs and players further down the pyramid. This is pure selfishness of the highest degree. I’d drag myself out of bed to play the replay. Because it’s the right thing to do.”
“I wouldn’t give a sh** how tired I was. I’d do the right thing. I’d give a bit back instead of being a grasping, selfish type. We spoke about the @EmiratesFACup and how top @premierleague would rather be playing exhibition matches in China building their profits and brands.”
“Jurgen @LFC, you’re embarrassing yourself. Your tarnishing your reputation. Rethink where you go from here. You’re killing @EmiratesFACup… There’s calls to kill @Carabao_Cup. You’re killing us.”
Leicester City manager and former Reds boss, Brendan Rodgers, has cast his vote of approval in defense of his successor Jurgen Klopp over the “ridiculous” decision to schedule FA Cup replays during the new Premier League winter break.
“He’s well within his rights to do that,” he said. “That’s why you have your first-team squad, you have reserve players and why you have youth players.
“I said a number of weeks ago that the load that is put on players and the pressure that some players have over the December, Christmas period, this week was designed (to help that). It’s not really you would say a break, but it’s something at least for the players to have and to go away and recover a little bit. To then organise the replays within that was ridiculous.”
“Jurgen is within his rights to pick whatever team he wants to pick. If he’s going to decide to rest all his players for the benefit of the club, because that’s who he is employed by, then that’s what he does and he has every right to do that.”
Jamie Carragher, the former Reds defender, has also wafted into the picture and tweeted:
“Senior players having a winter break is right, you can’t implement one & then have a replay in the break. That’s the same for all PL clubs. But Klopp should take the team, his young players will be delighted and the picture of him in Ibiza with a [beer] will be on every front page!”
Read Part 3 by Benjy-KHN tomorrow on Football Tribe.