Wednesday 26 October 2016

Barnes hails Klopp's stance on tardy Sakho

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes believes Jurgen Klopp's hardline stance in relation to Mamadou Sakho has helped swing the balance of power back towards managers.

The France defender was sent home from the club's pre-season tour of the United States earlier this week because of his poor time-keeping.

Barnes believes that immediately sent a message to the rest of the squad. "Managers needs to be given that autonomy," said the ex-England international.

"The manager needs to be given that strength to then say if 'I take a decision to drop somebody or to send them home or tell someone off then you will have to back me' - and the fans do.

"There are certain managers, (Jose) Mourinho, (Antonio) Conte, (Pep) Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, they can take decisions and the fans will back them.

"That's not happened in the past. Players have been too powerful at the clubs in the past where things have gone wrong and you blame the manager."

Barnes, who lost his own father to prostate cancer, added: "We're not going to blame Guardiola, Liverpool fans aren't going to blame Jurgen Klopp, and that's when the players will then need to take on the responsibility and the accountability for the bad performances because when they play badly we are not going to say its 'Jurgen's fault', and that's what has to happen."

Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge is hoping that the "most intense" pre-season he has ever experienced can help him kick-off the 2016/17 season the way he ended the last campaign.

The Liverpool forward scored a sumptuous strike in the ultimately disappointing Europa League final against Sevilla, after another important strike against Villarreal in the semi-final.

Injury meant that Sturridge didn't make his first appearance of last season until September 20, but he hopes that this summer's preparations will mean the coming campaign is very different.

"It's a lot more intense, probably the most intense I've ever experienced at any club," he said.

"It is just a different intensity and a different kind of pre-season. It is certainly something that everyone is getting used to and will hopefully put us in good stead for the season."

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