What’s five hours on a match day?
For Jurgen Klopp, the answer is a lot.
[ MORE: Liverpool “not the favorites” vs. City ]
While most were expecting to discuss Liverpool’s draw of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals — and they got that, too — Klopp used part of his Friday press conference to complain about the shifting of the Premier League kickoff time between the two legs.
Klopp’s Liverpool will now contest the Merseyside Derby in the early match on April 7 instead of April 8, with the Manchester Derby staged five hours later.
Derbies and the UCL
April 4 – Liverpool vs. Manchester City
April 7 – Everton vs. Liverpool — 7:30 a.m. ET
April 7 – Manchester City vs. Manchester United — 12:30 p.m. ET
April 10 – Manchester City vs. Liverpool
This, of course, also gives Liverpool five more hours rest than Man City, but Klopp’s not going to let that get in the way of his narrative.
“I know countries where they cancel whole match days so teams can be in the best shape. We play Wednesday night against Manchester City and then play Everton at 1230 three days later. That’s not too cool but obviously we have to go the hard way, I am used to that.
“We play Wednesday night and then at 1230 means the players get up on Thursday and have lunch or breakfast and then we train and next day we are on second-day recovery and then you start at 1230.
“It is not perfect. We take it like it is but if I cannot be angry about something like that anymore and have to be politically correct and say nothing then I am dead because that doesn’t work.”
Moving the matches is interesting, but would only serve to congest both sides’ schedules at another time, so… Whatever, Jurgen. He’s one of the most colorful characters in the football world, so we’re happy he exists, but if these words were coming out of Jose Mourinho’s mouth the world would be frothing at his attitude.
Keeping in mind that derbies are derbies and both of these are fierce ones, maybe Pep Guardiola should mention that Klopp has to go against Sam Allardyce and Everton in between fixtures while Pep matches wits with Jose Mourinho with (probably) a chance to clinch the Premier League.