English Premiership

Klopp searches for solution to Liverpool's League Cup dilemma

2019-11-01 22:41
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

London - Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are yet to resolve their League Cup dilemma after holding talks over the fixture clash between the quarter-final against Aston Villa and the Club World Cup.

Klopp's side will be in the Middle East for the Club World Cup when their League Cup tie at Villa is scheduled to be played in December.

Klopp had threatened to pull Liverpool out of the League Cup if the English Football League didn't accommodate them by moving the last eight match.

He has considered fielding two separate sides to solve the fixture congestion, but it remains likely the Villa game will be pushed back until early January.

"We discussed it. We have to as there is not too much time to make that decision. But no final decision yet," Klopp told reporters on Friday.

"If we did play while in Qatar it would be two different teams but we cannot leave any players at home for the Carabao Cup.

"We have two games there (in Qatar) in a very busy period. It is not that we can go there with 11 players and say these 11 guys play two games in Qatar and the other guys play back home against Aston Villa.

"It doesn't work like that. We will make a decision but not yet."

Klopp believes the League Cup needs an overhaul if it is to remain in the calendar given the already hectic demands on the top Premier League clubs.

"It is obvious it is too much. Absolutely obvious. Everyone involved in the game will tell you that. Let's have a look how they deal with it," he said.

But Klopp has doubts about whether the authorities are ready to listen to the managers who fear their players' health is being put at risk by fixture burn-out.

"If you see the schedule coming up it is all OK," he said. "Premier League: what a competition, sensationally cool. Then Carabao Cup: nice competition, what a wonderful game we had on Wednesday.

"But then there is still in January, after a very busy schedule in December, there is two (legged) semi-finals.

"It is an easy decision for me to say, 'OK, if you keep that competition why have two (legged) semi-finals?'

"That is the difference to other countries. We are the only country where no-one wants to touch it.

"The FA wants to touch the League Cup, the Football League wants to touch the FA Cup but no-one wants to talk about it."

When Manchester United where involved in the 2000 World Team Championship - the forerunner of the Club World Cup - they controversially pulled out of the FA Cup to aid their fixture congestion.

Klopp is well aware of the likely criticism that would follow if Liverpool did the same in the League Cup.

"If I create headlines for a day then people say 'Why is he moaning? He earns so much money'. That's what I don't like," Klopp said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Villa.

Klopp also feels UEFA's Nations League, an international competition he has voiced his opposition to in the past, has exacerbated the problem in terms of demands being put on players.

"If you are an international player and play all the big competitions in the world, then you have two weeks per year off. That's a fact," he said.

"The situation is clear, there would be a few solutions possible, but there was not one day that FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League, the Football League have to sit at a table and think about the players and not about their wallet."

Read more on:    liverpool  |  jurgen klopp  |  soccer

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 23 November 2019
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v Norwich City, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 November 2019
Sheffield United v Manchester United, Bramall Lane 18:30
Monday, 25 November 2019
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 22:00
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