Jurgen Klopp explains strange clash with journalist – “Don’t go for the wrong people”

After refusing to answer a question from one journalist after Liverpool’s defeat at Wolves, Jurgen Klopp has explained the reason for his outburst.

When James Pearce, a reporter from The Athletic, asked Klopp if he could explain why his team had started matches slowly in so many games this season, the Liverpool boss interrupted by saying he would prefer not to speak to him.

It’s since emerged that Klopp’s frustration was aimed at reports that the club’s head of fitness, Andreas Kornmayer, was a difficult individual to work with.

The journalist in question has not written anything criticising Kornmayer, but Klopp still seems to be unaware of that fact, telling reporters on Friday that they should “go for him” rather than any of his staff behind the scenes.

“It starts with being really emotional directly after the game, because I hate losing, that will never change,” Klopp said when reflecting on last weekend’s defeat at Molineux.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“And I know what you all thought about what I did in the press conference, but actually, it was the absolute lowest level of the aggression I had inside me.

“Of course, I was not happy with a lot of things that happened, and not the reasons for what happened, I just don’t like it if you go for the wrong people.

“For me, it’s fine. You don’t like my answers, then go for me, that’s fine, but don’t go for other people because they were much more influential in the good times than they are now, and that’s just not fair.

“Then it comes up, and you react like you react, but really, I thought, in the most respectful way possible.

“You might see that completely differently, but for me it was quite a stretch.”

Some reports this season have singled out the club’s medical department as an area where there is “friction” between staff members, with Kornmayer highlighted as an individual with an increasing level of power.

Klopp, though, insists that anybody who was not “helpful” would be shown the door, and is adamant that none of Liverpool’s staff are at the club because of the personal relationship he shares with them.

“We could go through the seven-and-a-half years, a lot of people left, a lot of people came in, it always worked out,” Klopp continued.

“We never spoke about it, and now we play bad football and you tell me ‘it’s because of this’, that makes no sense. It makes no sense.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, October 18, 2021: Liverpool's head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 3 game between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“And the first one, if they would not be helpful or inspirational or whatever you want to call it, they would not be here, I’m 100 percent clear on that.

“Nobody is here because they’re my friend, or whatever. Nobody. That will never happen. It was never the case, and will never be the case.

“They are here because they are best in class in what they are doing, that’s all.

“If you praise them in the good times, then criticise them in the bad times.

“If you don’t praise them in the good times, then don’t do it in the less good times, don’t do that. Have the balls and go for me.

“And then a confrontation can happen of course, but then I get an awful lot of money to face these situations.

“My life is fine, but they all have a career after and stuff like this, and we start talking about them like ‘they did this, and they did that’.

“And by the way, if I would listen to people who give me the wrong advice, it’s again my fault, and not their fault.

“I will not change in that department, to be honest, just as a little warning.

“I didn’t even read it, that’s the fun part, but it was spoken about so much that in the end I became aware of it.

“That means it’s a subject, and when it’s a subject that everybody is talking about, then I have to react, that’s how it is.”

There is, of course, a certain amount of irony in Klopp telling reporters not to go for the wrong people, when it was he who seemingly went after the wrong reporter.