Football

Juergen Klopp: Neville has no right to criticise players

Klopp questions why Gary can be a football 'expert' after he flopped as Valencia coach

MIDDLESBROUGH LIVERPOOL

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has launched a withering attack on pundit Gary Neville after the former Manchester United defender's criticism of goalkeeper Loris Karius.

After the 4-3 defeat by Bournemouth, Neville said the summer signing from Mainz was "miles away" only for Karius to respond in an interview published at the weekend by saying, "He was a manager for a short bit and now he is back to being an expert again".

Karius came under more scrutiny after his error led to Dimitri Payet scoring a free-kick in the 2-2 draw with West Ham last Sunday, but Klopp was not interested in getting into a debate about his goalkeeper.

Instead, he turned his attention to Gary and Phil Neville, after the latter appeared on Match of the Day advising the goalkeeper to "keep his mouth shut and do his job".

"First of all, my job is to protect the players as much as I can, but I cannot be with them on the pitch," Klopp said.

"The pundits, former players most of them, forgot completely how it felt when they got criticised. Especially the Neville brothers: the one who was the manager (Gary), he obviously should know that too much criticism never helps.

"But he is not interested in helping a Liverpool player, I can imagine, but that doesn't make what he says sensible.

"He showed he struggled with the job to judge players (during his short-lived and unsuccessful spell with Valencia) when he was manager so why do we let him talk about players on television? I don't listen to them.

"I am pretty sure Carra (Jamie Carragher) doesn't speak too positively about United players.

"Obviously, the Neville brothers don't like Liverpool. I have no problem with that."

In a parting shot to Gary Neville, Klopp said: "By the way, you can tell him I am not on Twitter, so if he wants to tell me something, Twitter doesn't help."

Gary Neville none the less used Twitter to reply, sharing Klopp's comments about his managerial record and writing: "I'm not a good chef, but I know a good steak!"

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Klopp might have been distracted by the Neville saga, but his immediate task is to guide the Reds back to winning ways tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Liverpool travel to Middlesbrough aiming for a first victory in three games to revive their EPL title hopes in the wake of a 4-3 defeat by Bournemouth and a 2-2 draw at home to West Ham, which have seen them lose ground to their rivals.

Klopp dropped his biggest hint yet he is ready to strengthen his squad next month, not his error-prone defence but his free-scoring attack.

"The winter transfer market is the most difficult. We are always looking," said Klopp, who will be without influential Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho for maybe two more weeks due to an ankle injury.

"If you look at our bench, we're very experienced in defence, but not offence. If the situation stays like this, it is clear we have open eyes."

Emre Can is set to miss out against Middlesbrough with a knee problem, although the German midfielder is expected to be fit for Monday's Merseyside Derby against Everton.

Defender Dejan Lovren, who was forced off with cramp against West Ham, is a doubt for tomorrow morning.

Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Forshaw urged his teammates not to dwell on last Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Southampton, which leaves Aitor Karanka's side three points above the relegation zone.

"We've been playing some decent stuff and we're on a good run at home," said Forshaw.

"Every game at this level is massive and we have another exciting opportunity with Liverpool next up at the Riverside." - WIRE SERVICES

Carra and Hamann in Twitter spat

While Juergen Klopp was targeting the Nevilles, two former Liverpool players were having a go at each other on Twitter.

Jamie Carragher had been critical of Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius, telling him to keep quiet and concentrate on his game - comments which were effectively echoed by Phil Neville.

However, his former team-mate Dietmar Hamann, who had not heard Carragher's initial criticism, took issue with Neville's words and tweeted: "That's the most laughable thing I've read in a long time. Disrespectful to say the least."

Having been informed Carragher had said a similar thing earlier, former Germany international Hamann added: "Carra is out of order, too. Karius is 23 years old and played over 100 top-flight games. Outrageous comments, deserves a little more respect.

"You can criticise as much as you want, but you don't tell an adult to shut up. Poor form."

Carragher was soon on his case, simply replying on Twitter "Shut up", before following up with "... Weren't telling me to shut up when I got you out of that Tokyo nick in 2005" - referring to when Hamann was arrested after some of the Liverpool players went out drinking following their defeat in the Club World Cup final.

However, Carragher later tweeted a screenshot of texts he said he exchanged with Hamann afterwards and stated: "Me and the Kaiser are ok now." - PA SPORT

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