- Written by Simon Stone
- BBC Sport at Anfield
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told any fan who is “not in shape” for Saturday’s Premier League clash with leaders Arsenal to give their ticket to someone else.
Klopp – whose side are one point behind Arsenal – criticized the Anfield atmosphere during Wednesday’s 5-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over West Ham.
The Reds recorded their joint-biggest win of the season to book a two-legged quarter-final clash with Fulham.
However, despite goals scored by Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Jakpo, Mohamed Salah and Curtis Jones, who scored twice, Klopp felt the atmosphere inside the stadium was flat.
This was despite it being only the second time 57,000 fans had attended after the opening of the upper tier of the Anfield Road stand.
After Sunday’s goalless draw with Manchester United, TV pundit Gary Neville said: “The atmosphere was the worst I’ve ever seen at Anfield.
“I’ve always been very complimentary of Liverpool fans. It’s the biggest crowd they’ve had here in 60 or 70 years, but it’s the quietest crowd I’ve seen for this game.”
Klopp was no longer more complimentary after the victory over West Ham.
He said: “In the first half, when the players played exceptionally well, I was not very happy with the atmosphere behind me.”
“I asked people: What do they want?” We changed a lot of things and dominated West Ham like crazy and wasted chances. If I had been in the stands I would have been 1000% ready.
“I don’t know if the Manchester United game was so bad that we should be sorry we didn’t crush them?”
On Saturday, Liverpool host an Arsenal side who have not played for six days since their 2-0 win over Brighton.
Arsenal lead the Premier League, although Aston Villa could go top with victory over Sheffield United on Friday.
“We need Anfield on Saturday,” Klopp said.
“Arsenal haven’t played this week. Anyone who knows anything about them knows they’ll be ready, so we need Anfield on their toes from the first second, without me getting into an argument with the opposition manager.
“If there are a lot of football games in December, if you are not in shape, give your ticket to someone else.”
“Internet nerd. Avid student. Zombie guru. Tv enthusiast. Coffee advocate. Social media expert. Music geek. Professional food maven. Thinker. Troublemaker.”