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Tuesday 28 March 2017

Klopp blasts back at Karius critics

Liverpool boss has a go at Neville brothers after analysis of Reds keeper

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defendeed goalkeeper Loris Karius in the wake of criticism from pundits Gary and Phil Neville and Jamie Carragher. Pic: Reuters
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defendeed goalkeeper Loris Karius in the wake of criticism from pundits Gary and Phil Neville and Jamie Carragher. Pic: Reuters

Liverpool manager Jurgen 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 at 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 on 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".

Struggled

"First of all my job is to protect the players as much as I can but I am not in the pitch so I cannot go with them," Klopp said.

Goalkeeper Loris Karius. Pic: Reuters
Goalkeeper Loris Karius. Pic: Reuters

"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 makes the things he says not make more sense.

"He showed he struggled with the job to judge players (during his short-lived and unsuccessful spell with Valencia) when he was manager at 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 Man United players.

"Obviously the Neville brothers don't like Liverpool, I have no problem with that and if they can cause bigger problems than we have already they have tried."

In a parting shot to Gary Neville, Klopp added: "By the way, you can tell him I am not on Twitter so if he wants to tell me something Twitter doesn't help." Klopp had deflected an earlier question about Karius as he did not want to add to the growing storm around him.

"Whatever I would say about this would create headlines," he said, moments before launching into the Nevilles.

"The good things, the bad things, and I am absolutely not interested in creating headlines so you can write what you want.

Issue

"There is nothing to say about it. A few things are obvious, a few things are not obvious, a few things are the truth, a few things are not right but that is too much for me to think about."

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

Carragher had been critical of 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 the former Germany international 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 at the Club World Cup final.

However, Carragher later tweeted a screenshot of texts he exchanged with Hamann and stated "Me and the Kaiser are ok now."

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