Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was ungracious in his comments towards Tottenham Hotspur stand-in boss Ryan Mason on Sunday.
That’s the view of BBC pundit Garth Crooks, who wasn’t happy with Klopp’s post-game thoughts. It was a tempestuous game at Anfield, with Liverpool getting the better of a 4-3 rollercoaster. And writing in his ‘The Crooks of the Matter’ column on BBC Sport, Crooks laid into Jurgen’s reaction to the game.
“I’m not a fan of managers criticising other managers. I have always felt that it is the role of the boss to set the tone before a match, the behaviour of all concerned during the match, and bring closure to the fixture with a handshake at the end of the match,” he explained. “We know emotions can run high during any fixture but not to the extent where managers are squaring up to each other like errant schoolboys, one manager telling the other what he should or not be doing or saying.
“That’s why I took exception to Jurgen Klopp’s rebuke of Ryan Mason when the Tottenham caretaker manager made the point in his post-match interview that Jota’s “reckless” attempt to win the ball with his foot when the ball was head high was, in his opinion, a sending-off offence. Jota was lucky to remain on the pitch regardless of the player’s intentions but for Klopp to suggest Mason has “other things to worry about” was not just stating the obvious but about as ungracious as it gets.
“For a man of Klopp’s stature to publicly admonish a rookie coach who has been brought in as caretaker on his club’s request, to take charge of their team selection away at Liverpool, done what can only be described as a sterling job under extraordinary circumstances and then isn’t allowed to give his opinion on a decision that turned the match is really a poor show by the Liverpool manager.
“Mason should never have been put in that position in the first place by his employers but having done so he deserved a better reception from a distinguished manager like Klopp, as a young coach still finding his way in the game. Poor show.”
Jurgen upsets the apple cart
It’s fair to say that our Jurgen has ruffled a fair few feathers over the last few days. That’s a good sign, it shows that Liverpool are back on the up.
Some of his behaviour on the touchline has rightfully been criticised, that’s fair enough. The boss took things a little too far in his celebrations towards the officials. But Crooks is barking up the wrong tree here.
Ryan Mason isn’t on work experience. He’s being paid handsomely to steer Tottenham in the right direction for the second time in a year. His own behaviour at Anfield on Sunday left a lot to be desired and his post-game comments were at times bordering on deluded. Jurgen was absolutely right to shut down his talk.
It’s true that Jota probably should have been sent off. But Oliver Skipp was lucky to be on the pitch by that stage of the game himself. Analysing his ankle-breaker on Luis Diaz did seem to slip Mason’s mind post-game, though. Funny that.
Besides, Jota and Skipp were spotted making up inside the Anfield tunnel at full-time. The Spurs midfielder had clearly let the incident go, so his manager should have done the same. A non-red card at 3-2 down with five minutes to play wasn’t the reason Spurs lost on Sunday. Conceding three goals in the opening 15 minutes probably had something to do with it, though.
As Klopp pointed out to this rookie manager, perhaps he should focus on that instead. And as for Crooks, well, he spent five years a Tottenham man. We wouldn’t take his opinion too seriously either. Keep doing you, Jurgen!