Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has stated that nobody can compete with Manchester City due to their financial backing.
It has, as you might expect, caused quite a stir.
[ MORE: Preview, team news, storylines for Liverpool vs Man City ]
The German coach has cranked up the spice levels ahead of Liverpool hosting City at Anfield on Sunday (watch live, 11:30am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com) and has cranked up the pressure on Pep Guardiola’s red-hot side.
Speaking to reporters in his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp was asked how Liverpool can compete with the juggernaut that is Manchester City.
His answer has caused huge debate and stirred the pot when it comes to the growing rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City.
Klopp tells us how he really feels
“You’re not going to like the answer. And you already have the answer. Nobody can compete with City,” Klopp said. “You have the best team in the world and you put in the best striker on the market. No matter what it costs, you just do it. City won’t like it, nobody will like it, but you asked the question and you know the answer. What does Liverpool do? We cannot act like them. It’s not possible, not possible.”
“It’s just clear: there are three clubs in world football who can do what they want financially,” Klopp added. “It’s legal, everything is fine, but they can do what they want… Competing with them? It’s not a problem at all for me. Don’t ask me this question because in the end it’s me telling you but you all know it. You should know. It’s not possible to deal with that and it will be like this. I heard the Newcastle [sporting director Dan Ashworth] say there’s no ceiling for this club – he’s absolutely right. There’s no ceiling for Newcastle. Congratulations – some clubs have ceilings.”
Breaking these comments down
Klopp isn’t saying something new here but choosing to answer this question in this way ahead of a clash against City puts the focus on Pep Guardiola’s side and the huge financial backing they have from Sheikh Mansour and the United Arab Emirates.
Mentioning Newcastle United’s new Saudi Arabian owners and PSG (without naming them) who are owned by the Qatari royal family, Klopp is stating that Liverpool are shopping in a different store to those three clubs and wants to put things into perspective. He also wants to take a bit of pressure off his team as they sit 13 points behind City heading into this clash on Sunday and it seems like Liverpool are much better when there’s an air of the underdog around them.
The Reds are still one of the wealthiest teams in the world but Manchester City, Newcastle and PSG are in a completely different universe.
By saying this, Klopp wants to remind his Liverpool team, and everyone else, how well they’ve done to compete with City. At the same time it downplays what Guardiola has achieved with four title wins in the last five years, even though Klopp has tons of respect for Pep and vice versa.
Klopp is right that Liverpool have to buy young players to develop and have been pretty incredible when it comes to net spend over the last 10 years and that’s a fact.
It is also a fact that Manchester City’s dynasty looks pretty unstoppable right now. Klopp and other Premier League managers who are coaching teams trying to stay close to City will all be feeling they’re fighting a huge uphill task.