Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has backed Jurgen Klopp’s stance on Liverpool’s FA Cup fourth round replay against Shrewsbury Town.
Klopp has drawn criticism for saying he will play the kids and not attend the match at Anfield but Merson has said he understands where the German is coming from.
He said: “Can I understand where Jurgen Klopp is coming from? 100 per cent. You’ve got to rest players; you’re going for the Premier League – a first league title in 30 years. Why didn’t anyone think of this in terms of the planning? I managed in the lower leagues at Walsall. It was hard. It’s 24/7 – you don’t switch off.
“There aren’t enough hours in the day for a manager. He’ll think of himself and his team. If he needs a rest, he’ll have a rest. Is a winter break needed? A longer winter break is. It’s one weekend off.”
TBR’s View – Klopp within his rights to rotate, but should attend the match
It’s easy to get nostalgic or say that Klopp is devaluing the FA Cup but his priority is winning the Premier League and then retaining the Champions League.
Liverpool haven’t won it in 30 years and while there is an outside chance they could do the treble, the wait has been so long that clinching the title has to take priority.
But why Klopp himself couldn’t manage that changed side doesn’t make much sense. He doesn’t need the night off as much as his players do and that’s where he could be accused of disrespect.