An ever-increasing list of fixtures to navigate led the German to question exactly when the relevant organisations expect his players to recover
Jurgen Klopp has taken aim at Liverpool‘s packed fixture schedule once again, with the manager stating that football ‘isn’t a PlayStation game’ as he bemoaned a lack of rest time for his players due to Premier League, Club World Cup and Carabao Cup responsibilities.
Participation in that competition has thrown up issues for the Merseyside outfit, however, with a Carabao Cup clash against Aston Villa having to be played within 24 hours of their first CWC match-up.
In total, Liverpool have to play seven matches across December alone before having to play an additional two games in the first week of January. As such, Klopp’s hand has been forced into rotating his starting XI – despite having no fresh injury concerns.
“There was no plans to make 30 changes last year [in December] but it’s time to make them now, that is clear,” the manager told a press conference. “That’s what we’ll do, 100 per cent. It’s not FIFA or the PlayStation where players don’t need a rest.
“There is no time for rest. Still, we have to try to give them rests here and there. The others have to perform. We have to make these changes. That is clear.”
The club have made the decision to field a full-strength side for the Club World Cup and utilise a separate side comprising mostly of youth players in their cup clash against Villa. When asked if he had considered splitting his first-team squad, Klopp was unequivocal.
“Not for one second,” he said. “We won the Arsenal game [in the Carabao Cup] and we had to find a solution. It’s not perfect but it’s the best [option we have]. So we go to Qatar, play the game and also try to win at Villa. I did not consider splitting the squad.
“We had to do it like this. I think it’s a really nice opportunity for the younger guys. I know everybody says [we have] no chance but that’s why football is a wonderful thing. I hope all the boys and the staff enjoy it.
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Next up for Liverpool is a tough trip to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday, before focus switches to a final Champions League group stage fixture.
The Reds are due to travel to Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday, where they must secure a least a draw to qualify for the knockout stages.