Under duress, people adopt any number of tactics.
For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, the answer seems to be siege mentality with a little bit of “this is only happening because we’re Liverpool.”
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Klopp expressed frustration — although he said he’s not angry — that people have asked him if Liverpool’s Premier League title dreams will be in better shape should Bayern Munich eliminate the Reds from the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
And while of course it is a silly reporter question that will not be answered honestly because everyone wants to win, there’s no question — no question — that the answer is Yes (More on that later).
Just don’t tell Jurgen.
“I really don’t think that any other coach or manager in the world has to answer this question when he plays in the Champions League,” Klopp said. “It’s really unique. It only happens if you are the Liverpool manager and the pundits come from Manchester United and start these things.
“When we went out of the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup you asked if it was better for us like that but we don’t see it like that. We wanted to go through but we didn’t.”
Here’s the thing: Look at the below schedule and plug the names Porto, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona, or Lyon in the “UCL qtrs” part of Liverpool’s schedule.
What’s easier over a two-week span:
— Being away to Juventus, home to Chelsea, home to Juventus, and away to Cardiff City
— Being home to Chelsea (who has Europa League fixtures surrounding the match) and away to Cardiff City.
That’s kinda the thing about Klopp over these past few weeks, with the wind and Manchester City’s celebrations entering the discussions. There are simple ways to answer these questions without getting fired up.
He doesn’t, which is kinda why a lot of people love him. But under the microscope of a title fight, it’s all looking a little weird and unnecessary.