Jurgen Klopp was in a spirited mood as he discussed his squad and the hard choices he needs to make, in addition to an update on Diogo Jota‘s ankle injury.
Here are five key things from the boss as he spoke to the press before the visit of Norwich:
Jota still an unknown
It’s cross your fingers time in relation to the No. 20 with his ankle injury requiring further assessment to determine how long he will be on the sidelines.
“Not available [vs. Norwich], extent still not clear. Need further assessment,” Klopp confirmed. “Everything is possible, it could go quick or the other way.”
He sustained the injury at Inter and did not emerge after the break as his ankle was swollen, leaving a race to be fit for the League Cup final at the end of the month.
‘Bobby is Bobby’
Roberto Firmino is the most used play in Klopp’s tenure, with the No. 9 an ever-reliable option that has made Liverpool tick for years.
And after a crucial away goal at the San Siro, the boss rightly had praise for his Brazilian.
“Bobby is Bobby!” Klopp said. “If you knew him better, you would be even more positive about him because he is just an incredible person.
“When Bobby is in the mood it helps the team massively. He could be in each lineup of this team every day because of his quality.”
Now, here’s hoping for a league goal at Anfield for the first time since December 2020.
Let’s not talk about options
Following the break at the end of January, Liverpool boasted a fully fit squad but with Jota now injured, Klopp was not eager to celebrate his long list of options!
“Yeah [the strongest options up top], but I really don’t like talking about it because for two weeks we talked constantly about it and the first thing that happened is Jota is out.
“We don’t know how long, so it makes it not the same number. Then you don’t know what will happen the next game, then we play midweek, then we play midweek and Champions League again.
“We know this is a really good team, but in the end, we have to deliver.”
No more cursing the options available!
Not the Harlem Globetrotters
Not something you’d think Klopp would mention, but it was an impassioned delivery from the manager as he stressed the need to not always be reactionary to the squad, whether good or bad.
“It’s all about what you make of it, of what you make of the things you have available. We just have to fight, not to think about how good we could be,” Klopp said.
“We’re not the Harlem Globetrotters. There are a lot of really good football teams and squads we have to battle with, but nobody is happy with being second or losing a final.
“We need each and every one of them, and not talking about it constantly. I get it, but I answered the question five billion times so why do we constantly talk about the squad?
“Let’s stop talking about it. My opinion is clear, top squad, best I ever had but it’s so much more important what kind of mood in the team and the stadium we can create to get results.”
A clear message
With the squad a huge subject, which the boss was certainly impassioned about, there is also the other side of the coin of players being left out.
But Klopp’s message was simple, “If you come on, you have to do exactly what the five boys, in the end, did when they came on against Inter.
“It’s the part I like least [leaving players out]. It’s easy when the boys give you reasons; spending three nights in the bar, or pictures in the pub and you don’t understand the situation – we’ve never had that.
“You better keep yourself in a good place, be angry with me, no problem, be disappointed no problem, but next day show up and be the best version of yourself and go again.”