Jurgen Klopp has dismissed any notion his team is arrogant after Frank Lampard’s warning and has told his Chelsea counterpart he needs to learn to not talk about whatever happens on the touchline postmatch.
Lampard was critical of Liverpool’s touchline conduct in their midweek Premier League match, which Liverpool won 5-3 at Anfield. The Chelsea boss later clarified he was not annoyed with Klopp’s conduct, but with the “people behind the bench.”
He warned Liverpool “don’t get too arrogant” with their success postmatch. And speaking Friday, when Klopp was asked about Lampard’s warning, he gave his take on Lampard’s criticism and said the Chelsea manager needs to learn when to stop talking about what happened on the field.
“We are not arrogant. Frank was in a competitive mood, I respect that a lot,” Klopp said. “From my point of view, in this situation [mid-match] you can say pretty much what you want… he came here to win the game, or get a point to help with Champions League qualification and I respect that.
“What he has to learn is to finish it with the last whistle and he didn’t do that. Speaking afterwards about it, is not OK. Frank has to learn this, he has a lot of time to learn as he’s a young coach, but he has to learn this.
“We are not arrogant, we are pretty much the opposite. Final whistle, close the book and he didn’t do that and that’s what I don’t like.”
Klopp clarified his view, adding that he would not have spoken about Lampard, had he not been asked about the Chelsea boss’ postmatch comments in Friday’s news conference teeing up Sunday’s match against Newcastle.
“As he spoke afterwards, it makes sense to speak about what I mean,” Klopp added.
The Liverpool manager was speaking on the day his captain Jordan Henderson was named Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year.
And he paid tribute to Henderson, saying: “Resilience made him the player he is now. Talent or attitude? It’s a mix and Henderson is the perfect answer to that. If you want to have a guy who has faught his way through to become one of the best players in the league and this year everybody acknowledged that. I am really proud of him and he’s an exceptional captain.”
Klopp watched Henderson lift the Premier League trophy on Wednesday night and he was struck by the poignancy of the moment, with Trent Alexander-Arnold pointing out to Klopp that his Liverpool side were on 96 points, the same number of people who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy.
“I don’t believe too much in coincidence,” he added. “I felt it so massively that things came together. It cannot be a coincidence that we had 96 points on the night we got the trophy. I hope the families felt the same way — it made it really special.”
Liverpool travel to St James’ Park on Sunday for their final match of the season to cap a remarkable 13 month-spell where they have won the Champions League and the Premier League title. But Klopp warned the chasing pack that Liverpool are desperate for further success and will be “greedy” for more trophies.
“We decide when this story is finished, it’s not finished yet,” Klopp said. “You have to be a team that nobody wants to play against — I think we are like this, but we need keep that going.”