Liverpool are facing a problem this season, alongside the rest of the football world, as Jurgen Klopp has to ponder how to cope with a World Cup in the middle of the campaign.
Speaking with the media after the victory over Crystal Palace, the 55-year-old discussed the unique prospect ahead: ‘Normally our pre-season is always the basis for the rest of the season, this time we have the first part of the season that’s interrupted.
‘If you would have asked me three years ago if I can expect something like that… OK, with the World Cup it was clear, but we are already kind of used to it because with the pandemic we had breaks and starting again.
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‘So it’s not completely new to us anymore and when these players have time off, for example, if they are not at the World Cup, they never have real time off, they have a training schedule to fulfil so they don’t lose a lot in these periods, which is very important for us.
‘That’s why we can give them at least as long as possible time off with family and holiday and stuff like this, but they just need it. Apart from that, the World Cup is for all top teams in football pretty much the same, especially in England it’s the same because we play immediately.
‘If you are in the final or the third-place [game] then you play again a week later… and then you play 26th, 31st, 2nd and stuff like this. Obviously the guys in the Premier League like the spectacular.
‘I’ve said it often enough, nobody really cares about the players in these moments but that’s how it is’.
For some reason, the German gets untold levels of abuse whenever he mentions that footballers aren’t looked after properly in the modern game.
Even fellow players like Andros Townsend think that his pleas for more substitutions was for personal gain and not in the interest in the welfare of the Everton man and his peers.
It is obscene that the Premier League has to return a week after the end of the Qatar tournament, especially when it’s fair to assume there will be a host of the league’s stars in the showpiece event.
To have no leeway in terms of domestic cup competitions being scrapped or shortened, or the season being significantly lengthened, shows how little the importance of player welfare is.
Our manager will keep beating the drum for his, and all, players and will be in full knowledge that whenever he does – for some reason he is hated for it.
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