FA fume that managers don’t like their stupid decisions
You know the score by now: FA Cup fourth-round replays are due to take place for most teams in the first week of the so-called winter break, a winter break which now contains a fixture for the Reds.
Klopp immediately said post-game that neither he nor his team would be around for the game, leaving it to the kids and U23 boss Neil Critchley, but the FA are unimpressed.
They say all teams were made aware that replays would be played at this time, apparently believing that insulates them from the stupidity of the decision to, er, plan matches during a break:
“The FA went to great lengths to create an annual mid-season player break, working closely with the Premier League and its clubs.
“It is a new and significant addition to the English football calendar and is designed to benefit clubs and their players.
“To accommodate the annual mid-season player break, the FA rescheduled the fifth round to midweek and removed fifth-round replays from the calendar. This allowed the Premier League room in its calendar to have a split round of fixtures over two weekends.
“Prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, all clubs accepted that FA Cup fourth-round replays, where required, would have to take place during the first week of the mid-season player break.
“This will only affect a small number of clubs due to the split of Premier League fixtures in the mid-season player break.”
Of course, it’s only Klopp getting pelters for his comments, even though Steve Bruce and others have similarly pointed out the lunacy of the situation. Then again, only Klopp said he wasn’t turning up…
Minamino wants self-improvement
Our new boy was unable to shine at the weekend, flitting in and out of the game and eventually subbed off on his second start for the club.
There’s lots more to come from Takumi Minamino, but he knows he faces a fight to earn first-team minutes, given the quality and consistency shown (most of the time!).
Speaking after the draw with Shrewsbury, he told Kyodo News outlet that he is aware of the areas he needs to improve to nail down a regular spot in the side.
“I need to raise my tactical awareness and show my versatility.
“I started in a role that I’m used to, where I was able to receive the ball in good positions, but in the 2nd half I became less involved. I have to be more aggressive.”
More reaction to Klopp
Unsurprisingly, everybody wants their say on the boss’ decision to not take charge of the fourth-round replay.
- His opposite number in the dugout understands why the kids will be on show, given what the Reds are aiming for this term
- Jamie Carragher reckons Klopp is right to leave the players out – but he should still manage the team himself
- And as for the Liverpool fans, opinion is very much split over whether Jurgen has done the right thing
Wilson back among the goals
Back to the football action, there’s positive news on the loan front after a host of youngsters featured over the weekend.
Harry Wilson took the headlines after finding the back of the net for the first time since November, but there was also a senior debut for young goalkeeper Dan Atherton and more game time for the likes of Rhian Brewster and Herbie Kane.
Our complete loan round-up gives you all the lowdown on those who are hoping to make the grade at Anfield in future.
Quickfire LFC news
- And FIFA 20 fans can revel in the fact that a whole bunch of Reds are getting a massive upgrade (Echo)
Around the Prem
- Pep Guardiola was disappointed that the Emptihad Stadium wasn’t full for City’s FA Cup game (BBC Sport)
- PSV winger Steven Bergwijn, linked with the Reds last year, might be heading to Spurs instead; look forward to him being berated by Jose Mourinho in a few weeks’ time (Mirror)
- Arsenal and Everton want James Rodriguez on loan from Real Madrid, because apparently he’s now an option for mid-table fodder (AS)
- And remember when Liverpool were definitely interested in Sander Berge, then Napoli were definitely getting him instead? Sheffield United have just had a bid turned down (Mail)
Laughable rumour outcome of the day
Man United‘s pretend move for Bruno Fernandes seemed to hit the wall over the weekend; now the Times reckon they’re putting another offer in – still well below what Sporting CP said they won’t budge from – and it’s set to be rejected as they are expecting a much bigger bid from another team.
Got to love the way that club is run at the moment.
Tweet of the day
Far and away the best in Europe.
Liverpool have won 97% of all points available ? pic.twitter.com/cuOknzBiVL
— Declan Rogers (@ReclanDogers) January 27, 2020
What we’re reading
A great interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger, former Aston Villa midfieler and now Stuttgart chief executive, on the Athletic.