Klopp- “I’m not Ferguson, I don’t do mind games”
Jurgen Klopp hits back at Clattenburg “hypocrisy” claims after the referee’s comments ahead of the weekend’s titanic clash with Manchester United.
The former Premier League referee, Mark Clattenburg accused Jurgen Klopp boss of “hypocrisy” and “mind games” ahead of the most awaited Premier League match this weekend.
Drawing from the Daily Mail, Clattenburg suggested Klopp had made a “blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game” when the German questioned why United received so many penalties than Liverpool after his side’s 1-0 loss at Southampton on 4th January.
“I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years”. Klopp had asked.
“I have no idea if that’s my fault or how that can happen”.
Addressing this comment, Clattenburg wrote, “first, he sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United’s players are looking to win penalties. The likes of Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics”.
“He is clearly getting edgy, though, because not since Fergie have we seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game. Klopp wasn’t doing this last season when Liverpool was winning every week”.
“He does not like losing. He never has. He gets prickly. But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favorable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left”.
“It was mind games. An attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney and get inside his head before a huge match between Liverpool and United this Sunday”.
Jurgen Klopp Hits Back at Clattenburg
On a pre-match press conference on Friday, when asked about his row, Klopp responded, “Am I surprised that somebody is speaking about what I said after the Southampton game? No. Am I surprised that Mark Clattenburg speaks about it? No”.
“I’m not sure why or if he got asked about it. But it’s nice that we can talk about him long after his career has finished”.
“I’m not Sir Alex. I don’t try mind games. I was asked directly after the Southampton game and I didn’t think for one second about the United game. I saw the stats about penalties before the Southampton game, that was it”.
“When people like Mark Clattenburg speak now, it always such much more about them than it ever could about me. Maybe if he was ever in my situation then he would play mind games. But unfortunately, I have no skills for playing mind games”.