In his customary pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp showed that is he who has the final say on team selection and all things besides.
There is very little doubting that Klopp is the main man at Liverpool. There is very little room, without the German being an egotist like Jose Mourinho, for anyone else in the Liverpool camp to be the big boss.
Mamadou Sakho refused the chance, or should I say chances, to go out on loan this summer and the result is an uncertain role in Klopp’s squad. There is no certainty as to whether or not he will be playing for the club anytime soon but that really is his fault. After testing positive for fat burners last season and being sent home from the club’s pre-season tour, Sakho really has to take what he gets at this stage.
Speaking in his pre-Derby County presser, Klopp commented on Roberto Firmino missing the clash with Chelsea at the weekend, “We know how to handle it and we know about recovery. Take risks in football, but not with players who are not 100 per cent.
“Roberto is in training. The medical department told me he could have played against Chelsea, but I heard the word ‘risk’ too often so I decided no.
“I was very happy that it worked out. They told me if I gave him three days then everything would be perfect, so today is the fourth day so he is in.”
Then, regarding Mamadou Sakho, “He is closer, but there is a big difference between match fitness and everything.
“It is not about how the player feels, it is about how close I feel he is.”
What is important to know is the way Klopp said it. While there was no malice or ill-intent behind his words, there was a certain forcefulness which just told you, “I’m the boss.”
It’s great to have a manager who is as authoritative as Klopp is.
I’m not having a dig at Brendan Rodgers, but I never felt he was firm enough with players. Klopp is very buddy-buddy with the lads but you just know from the way he screams on the sidelines that he can let rip when he wants.
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