Liverpool have picked up four red cards already this season – but Klopp will not be warning his stars about their discipline ahead of the visit of Everton
Jurgen Klopp would not consider asking his players to be wary of discipline ahead of the Merseyside derby, despite a string of controversial red cards this season.
Since becoming manager in 2016, Liverpool have had the best disciplinary record in the Premier League – and Europe – with just nine red cards in total in the eight years before the start of the current season. That’s almost 450 games, but there have already been four. In just eight games so far this season.
One, for Alexis Mac Allister, was overturned, another red for two yellows picked up by Diogo Jota was fouled but could not be overturned, and a third for an innocuous challenge by Curtis Jones resulted in a ridiculously harsh three-match ban. However, in Klopp’s first five full seasons at Anfield, his side topped the Premier League Fair Play table, finishing second the following season.
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It has led to serious questions about referees by fans at Liverpool’s matches this season, a doubt exacerbated by the most astonishing decision ever made by any Premier League official, when Darren England’s VAR ruled out a perfectly good goal against Tottenham by… “Major human error.” “.
Despite this, Klopp insists that despite the tough calls consistently made against his team this season, he cannot ask his players to modify their behaviour, even in the famous Mersey derby. No English match has seen more red cards, with A staggering 20 players have been sent off in the last 25 years, but Klopp insisted: “No, we can’t take things into account – no. I don’t think you can.”
“If you really look at it, we should have (only) one red card and that was Virgil van Dijk, so how do I deal with that? What should I say to the players, be careful? Careful of what? (Should I say) Diogo Jota: ‘Don’t touch the player’? It wasn’t helpful because he didn’t touch the player and was sent off anyway. So no, there’s nothing we can do.”
Klopp is certain that three of Liverpool’s four red cards should not have been graded this season, and believes his side are the fairest in the league… with history backing him up. “If you were to look at that, you’d see through my eight years Here, before we were five or six years old, we won the fair play competition. So we didn’t get it [a trophy] But we got less of the yellow and less of the red. I think we won this competition two or three times in Europe. “So (obviously) we don’t kick other players, we want to win the ball.”
Despite this, Klopp will not be sending any message to officials, despite a worrying string of fouls this season. Saturday’s derby referee Craig Pawson gave youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin a penalty in 2017 when Reds defender Dejan Lovren appeared to tackle him. There was an even worse decision, when Calvert-Lewin was awarded a penalty in 2021.
But Klopp remained diplomatic when he said: “I can’t say anything. The referee of the derby match (Saturday) gave a penalty kick against us? I have no memory of this kind of thing, so I can’t say anything!”
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