Liverpool legend Danny Murphy has criticised Jurgen Klopp’s decision not to be present for the Reds’ FA Cup fourth round replay with Shrewsbury Town.
The German tactician was clearly not happy to see his side draw away to Shrewsbury at the weekend, leading to yet another fixture for Liverpool in their incredibly hectic season.
Murphy, however, thinks Klopp should take charge of the game, even if he is planning on resting players and fielding youngsters so as to not take the game too seriously.
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Murphy insists it’s important for LFC’s youngsters to have their manager with them to raise their level.
“I’m completely with Jurgen Klopp in protecting his players when they’re pushing for the league for the first time in the 30 years and they’ve got the Champions League still,” Murphy told talkSPORT.
“Protect your players, I understand that; you’ve got a big squad, you’ve got good youngsters, rotate the team – no problem.
“But I think he should be there. He should be at the game. I don’t think there’s any reason for him not to be there.
“Wherever he’s flying to, whatever holiday he’s got with or without the players, whether they’re going away together or he’s given the players time off, he is the manager.
“He’s not running round the pitch every three days, he’s just walking about the training pitch and in the dugout.
“As the manager, the impact of being there for those younger lads who play on the day is massive.
“I’m telling you it would make a difference to their performance. I know as a young player, when the first-team manager comes to watch you, even at a training session, the tempo goes from seven to ten.
“A part of his thinking may be that he doesn’t want to overshadow Critchely and what he’s doing with those young players… but I don’t think it would.
“So wherever Klopp is, this is at Anfield so he can get to the game.
“I completely understood the Club World Cup; it was nearly impossible for him to be at both games in 24 hours, but this is a bit different.
“I’ve not got a problem with what team they put out, but I think he should be there and I think it would help the players if he’s there.”
It will be interesting to see how this affects Liverpool if Klopp doesn’t attend and the team loses, with the situation likely to draw comparisons with when Manchester United pulled out of the FA Cup altogether back in the 1999/00 season.
That was heavily criticised by the media at the time, and Liverpool could probably do without the potential negativity that could distract from their superb performances that have made them major Premier League title favourites this season.