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"Sensitive" Klopp cries foul over Pickford's lack of punishment

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20:44 20 Oct 2020

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he's still coming to terms with the prolonged absence stretching out in front of Virgil Van Dijk. 

The Dutch defender will be lucky to play again this season, as he requires surgery on an ACL injury.

Van Dijk sustained the problem in Saturday's fiery Merseyside derby, when he was scythed down in the Everton box by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

It was confirmed on Monday that the England goalkeeper would not face punishment for the tackle, for which he avoided a card at the time from referee Michael Oliver.

The FA will only consider retrospective action for incidents not seen by match officials on the pitch, or at VAR headquarters at Stockley Park.

The video replay system looked at Pickford's challenge during Saturday's match, and decided he shouldn't be sent off.

The incident is still rankling with the Liverpool manager who was speaking ahead of his side's Champions League opener away to Ajax.

"A couple of days ago something happened which, for sure, should not have happened in a football game," Klopp said.

"It happened not [for] the first time, obviously will probably not happen [for] the last time.

"But yes I see it similar to my players - both challenges were difficult to accept, let me say it like this.

"I spoke the day after - and it's really hard for us, because Virgil's our boy, and it has nothing to do with the quality of  Virgil because yes he is a world-class player and we will miss him but we miss Oxlade as well.

"Injuries happen in football, and very often in challenges but very often just both players try to play the ball - but it was not the case in these two challenges. And it makes it so difficult to take.

"In the last four years, if you might have a look, we were leader of the fair-play table. Again, we don't get anything for that, most often enough it's something where people make a joke about it and say 'oh, we are in that table up there but not in the real table'.

"We were in both tables pretty high, that means you can play football without these kind of challenges."

"The VAR forgets the rules"

Klopp says he's still coming to terms with the confluence of issues that allowed Pickford to get off scott-free.

The Reds manager said, "In this game, there came a few things together. First the ref doesn't see it, so it's in this case Michael Oliver didn't see it - he's an excellent referee usually - but why he didn't see it I don't understand because he had the best view.

"And then the VAR forgets the rules.

"As a human being it's all about that, it's not that whatever player is punished, but I think it's something we all agreed on. If you do something wrong, you have to deal with the consequences.

"And in this moment it's only two [persons] who deal with the consequences, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara"

Klopp v Carra

In his pre-match press conference, Klopp was repeatedly asked if he'll be dipping into the transfer market in January.

On top of Van Dijk's long-term absence, Joel Matip's injury record is becoming a concern. He didn't make the trip to Amsterdam after picking up a knock at Goodison Park.

But Klopp wasn't taking kindly to suggestions his summer transfer policy was a bit off, "We went into the season with three centre-halves plus Fabinho as a cover plus young kids as cover. That's usually quite a good number.

"As a football club it's difficult to have four world-class centre-halves. Immediately, on one side it's pretty expensive, on the other side one of them doesn't play for a long long time.

"And that's pretty difficult because it's not a position you rotate too much, so it's a tricky one.

"If anyone wants to tell us now we made a mistake in the transfer window.... I think Jamie Carragher, or whatever, mentioned something like this. There are a few reasons why they don't do this job [manager] and they do the other job.

"But you cannot have the solutions always before you have the problem. Yes. it's not perfect, for sure not. Joel Matip is not here as well, so that's not perfect.

"But that's our situation and we have to deal with it. We will see how we react on it.

"We are still a little bit sensitive with the situation, which you are obviously not. That's exactly the situation why we are in a completely different mood to you [the media].

"The first people question ask: 'What are you doing now in the transfer market?' We know since yesterday that our vice-captain and the best centre-half in the world is not playing for us for a long, long time. We will see how long.

"And now we work on solutions for now, and from a specific moment on we will try to find solutions for the future. But I have no idea how they will look in this moment, sorry."

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Read more about

Ajax Carragher Champions League Everton Jamie Carragher Joel Matip Jordan Pickford Jurgen Klopp Klopp Liverpool Thiago Thiago Alcantara Van Dijk Virgil Van Dijk

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