Klopp says PL rivals will ‘go for it’ next season; cannot resist jibe at Pep
Jurgen Klopp says Chelsea “will go for it” next season and expects Thomas Tuchel’s side to be strong Premier League title contenders.
The Liverpool boss was asked about just how much ground his side will have to make up on champions Manchester City next season. City clinched the title last night after Man Utd were beaten by Leicester. Klopp offered his congratulations to Pep Guardiola in a text. But he does not believe Guardiola’s men are necessarily 23 points better than his side. Just as he pointed out that his champions last season were not 18 points better than City.
The German coach also tipped his hat to Chelsea and believes they will improve next term.
“We knew last year were weren’t 20-odd points better than other teams. We know next year we have to win football games,” said Klopp.
“City are not the only challenge next season, Chelsea – I said to Thomas that his squad was a present (to him). Together with Thomas it works out pretty well. If you look at the squad they can make 11 changes and you still think that’s a proper team.
“So they will go for it next year definitely. They will not get worse next season that’s a fact. United is in a good way. So it is not who is far awat or whatever. It means you have to win your own football games and that’s possible.
“Our season was difficult, but we don’t close our eyes to the facts. Even with five or six points more with the injuries we have had, we should have. We do not blame anyone else other than ourselves because we would be closer to the Champions League spots with four games to go.
“Now we need help from other teams. We have to win our games and we need help from other teams. That is not the situation we want to be in. But it’s the best we could do and now we deal with that.”
After Leicester rolled over Thursday’s opponents Man Utd, City claimed their third title in four years.
And Klopp congratulated City, but made sure he got a line out about their “financial backing”.
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Klopp in money jibe
“They have an incredible squad and the best manager in the world – a good recipe I would say! Well deserved, congratulations,” said Klopp.
“Congratulations. I texted Pep last night – really well done, and already texted Ilkay.
“A very difficult year for the whole world and what they achieved so far this season is exceptional. If you have financial resources and football knowledge, you have a good chance.
“You can beat them but you have to be on your top to beat them. We have done that from time to time but obviously not this season.”
Asked if he had any security concerns over Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford on Thursday, Klopp replied: “No.”
The original fixture on May 2 had to be postponed after United fans stormed on to the Old Trafford pitch. Fans also blocked in the United team boss at the Lowry Hotel as they demonstrated over United’s plans to join the European Super League.
Klopp said: “No concerns at all. We trust the authorities, we were not in danger last time. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow night but I am not concerned.
“Our plan was to win all the games, so we won’t change that. Do we have to take more risks when it’s a draw? Possibly
“If you play a game and think only about attacking, you have lost before the first whistle.”
“The plan is to give it a proper try tomorrow night. We’re not that bad in the form table but two draws when we ‘lost the game’ pretty much late on, it felt harsh [Leeds and Newcastle]. That’s the situation.”
Speaking about United, he said: “It is a really good mix of ages – experience and potential. Mason Greenwood – absolutely exceptional.
“What a generation of England offensive players! They play some really good stuff. They will be second. A good season for them.”
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