Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he, along with his rivals, Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte are good but not geniuses.

Stressing the importance of patience from supporters and the media, the eccentric German praised each boss individually but made a good point about the unrealistic expectations placed on teams every season.

There was a state of excitement among fans of English football last summer when the latter pair arrived in the Premier League to take charge of Manchester City and Chelsea respectively.

In the case of the Spaniard, Klopp came up against the former Bayern Munich manager during his time at Borussia Dortmund and has hit out a criticism of the City boss following his first season in England.

“Let’s talk about Pep Guardiola,” he told the Times.
That’s a good idea. I don’t know him well but when we see each other, he seems a nice guy, so we talk about everything. Yes, we both want to win, we can’t be best friends on the sidelines, that’s impossible, but after the game we are [gives a thumbs up]. 
“Manchester City play outstanding football but people say, ‘[Guardiola’s had] no impact, disappointing’. To create something takes time. How I started in Germany as a coach I had exactly the same players as before. No signings. No transfers. We only changed the way of playing. That changed everything.
 

“But what would you [the media] say here when something didn’t work? You say to the manager ‘which players would you bring in?’. I’m differently educated. I want to work with the team.”

On Wenger, Klopp continued: “[Liverpool] have spent the whole season fighting for the Champions League, and how often was he (Wenger) in the Champions League? Nineteen. Wow. That’s the outstanding job he’s done..

“And in his time developing players, like 50,000 names: Thierry Henry — what a player — Robert Pires, Robin van Persie. Unbelievable. He had an eye for them, bring them in and working with them.

“From the other side of the water, it was, ‘Oh my God, Arsène Wenger. Unbelievable.’

“Look, we’re good at what we’re doing, that’s why we earn the money but we’re not geniuses. Sometimes you can’t cope with the problems. Sometimes I have too many players injured.

“I come in and say to the press, ‘Tomorrow, it’s really difficult, I have no idea how to line up because he’s injured, he’s half injured, he’s not injured yet but the medical department tells me if he plays one more time then he’s down.’ And everybody says, ‘Why’s he not playing?’ I can’t tell the truth. Sometimes the problems are too big.”

Hopefully by the end of Sunday one of Klopp’s problems will be failure to qualify for the Champions League. Unlikely, but we can dream…

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Football writer. Objective reviews and analysis of European football. Lifelong Arsenal fan, youth football enthusiast.