In Depth

Klopp tells Liverpool fans: 'Calm down, it's not life and death'

New Anfield manager takes issue with Bill Shankly as he tells fans that it's only a game, but he now knows the size of his task

Perhaps Jurgen Klopp has been watching Harry Enfield's comedy Scouser routine, as the German manager has urged Liverpool fans to "calm down" after seeing his side draw against Southampton on Sunday, and he also appears to have taken issue with legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly after telling supporters that it's "only a game".

The Reds drew 1-1 with Southampton on Sunday evening and afterwards Klopp said he was shocked by the reaction inside Anfield after the Saints' 86th minute equaliser, which came nine minutes after Christian Benteke had given Liverpool the lead.

"It's only a goal, only a game of football," said the new Reds manager, who has seen his side draw all three of their matches since he took over. "It's like it's the last thing in your life and we have to calm this down".

It was one of Klopp's predecessors, the great Bill Shankly, who coined the famous phrase: "Football is not a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that". And Klopp appears to believe that many Liverpool fans have taken his words, meant as a joke, literally.

Referring to the atmosphere inside Anfield, he said: "I hope I'm not the only person in the stadium who thought 'this is not the end of the world'. We can work on this."

However, Klopp believes his players are adapting to the new regime. "I saw development, I saw the next step, but at the end we are disappointed because of the result," said the former Borussia Dortmund coach, who warned that the rest of the Premier League would be gunning for the Reds. "The problem is the other teams don't wait for us – they want to win, they want to beat us."

But the new manager can be under no illusions about the size of the task facing him at Anfield, says Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph. "With each post-match analysis, the German coach is issuing a more robust reminder of how the rebuilding work at Anfield is not restricted to the new main stand.

"Klopp has set no targets for his debut season. He is astute not to do so, but the club’s pre-season target of returning to the Champions League looks increasingly fanciful."

Recommended

A guide to the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022
The Uefa Women’s Euro trophy
The big match

A guide to the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022

Maradona and the ‘simple homicide’ trial
Diego Maradona pictured in 2019
Why we’re talking about . . .

Maradona and the ‘simple homicide’ trial

A perfect storm of ‘injury, fatigue and déjà vu’ for England? 
England captain Harry Kane reacts after Hungary’s third goal at Molineux 
View from the terraces

A perfect storm of ‘injury, fatigue and déjà vu’ for England? 

Should Gareth Southgate be sacked?
Gareth Southgate reacts to England’s 4-0 defeat to Hungary in the Uefa Nations League
View from the terraces

Should Gareth Southgate be sacked?

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

What happened to Logan Mwangi?
Tributes left to Logan Mwangi
Today’s big question

What happened to Logan Mwangi?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

The Week Footer Banner