Jurgen Klopp said he gave his players the opportunity to pull out of yesterday’s game against Sunderland but that none wanted to.
Liverpool drew 2-2 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light yesterday just 48 hours after a 1-0 victory over Manchester City at Anfield. Calls for a winter break could not find a better example of why the period or rest should be implemented as Liverpool’s players and manager looked exhausted and allowed a one-goal lead to slip twice.
Many supporters took to social media after the game to criticise Jurgen Klopp for not rotating his squad after playing against Man City just two days before they took on Sunderland. However, the man himself has said that none of his players wanted to be rested.
“I told the players if nobody wanted to play I would never speak about it and not tell anyone, but nobody came. That was a good thing,” said Klopp.
Match of the Day pundit Martin Keown said, “Klopp looked tired himself. The high-intensity game has taken it out of them but it has been a good half of the season for them.”
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Sir Alex Ferguson raised concerns last season over whether or not Liverpool could maintain the high press for an entire season and while I think the former Manchester United manager might have a point, I think it is possible. The issue has been with Klopp’s rotation. Roberto Firmino hasn’t looked himself for the last month and you can tell he is suffering from fatigue.
I expect Philippe Coutinho to come back into the side and act as a breath of fresh air as he’s had over a month off, albeit through injury.
Liverpool trail Chelsea in the title race but questions will be raised over whether or not they can stay in the top four if things don’t change. Despite being unbeaten in their last five, Liverpool haven’t been convincing in their performances as they were in the opening weeks of the season.