Has Jurgen Klopp really made a ‘big difference’ to Manchester United getting penalties? We have a look at the facts after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the claim.
Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer is talking about Jurgen Klopp again. It’s something he typically does a few times a season.
Friday saw the latest claim – that Klopp has had a ‘big difference’ on United winning penalties. This comes, of course, after they had a couple of decent shouts waved away against West Ham United last week.
“We should have had three penalties in the last two games,” said Soslkjaer, per the Mail. “There was a certain manager who worried about us getting pens last year and after that it seems like the decisions were more difficult to give.
“I’ve seen a big difference since then on. You just have to leave it to the refs and hope they make the right calls very soon.”
Now, that ‘certain manager’ is Klopp. He mentioned a statistic last January that suggested his team don’t get many penalties compared to United.
“I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five and a half years,” he said, per the BBC. “I’ve no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.”
Soslkjaer says he’s noticed a ‘big difference’ since then. So we thought we’d have a look and see.
Has Klopp affected United winning penalties?
After Klopp made those comments last season, United won five penalties. That’s as many as Tottenham Hotspur earned over the entire Premier League season and only one fewer than Liverpool managed over 38 games.
Which begs the question – just how many does Solskjaer believe they should have had? Because they finished the season with 11, which was just one behind Leicester City as the most in the league.
They received another seven across the EFL Cup, Champions Leauge and Europa League.
In total, United have had 25 over the last two Premier League seasons. That’s five more than next-best Manchester City, meaning Solskjaer has seen 25% more penalties than anyone else across his two full campaigns.
Yet he feels Klopp has had a ‘big difference’ on the amount United have had. Should they have had another four? Five?
Every so often, something comes along where a manager can have a little dig and try to gain an advantage. Klopp literally did it last season with penalties (to no avail, though. Liverpool received fewer after his comments than before).
But Solskjaer is pretty far wide of the mark, here. We’re not saying for a second that there’s a conspiracy or anything weird leading to their penalties, but they already get them at a remarkable rate. It’s just bizarre to complain, let alone suggest that Klopp has turned the refs against you.
This is just the latest case of Solskjaer making a weird claim about Klopp and Liverpool. Like last season, where he suggested that missing Phil Jones and Bradon Williams was on par with missing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota.
We think he should perhaps tone it down a bit. The United boss is developing a habit of looking very foolish.