The final whistle had just sounded at Anfield when Jurgen Klopp once more went on the offensive.
In his ongoing quest for change, the Liverpool manager urged – or rather, demanded – that Sky Sports and BT Sport come to a compromise that best suits the footballers they want to send their ratings soaring this season.
Klopp‘s calls for the revision of the five-substitute rule and scheduling of TV games has become a key theme of this season-like-no-other, but his latest utterance on Sunday night was as profound as ever.
The Reds boss had just watched his patched-up side lose another player in Naby Keita and was in little mood to celebrate the result as his injury crisis, somehow, worsened.
“If you don’t start talking to BT [Sport] we are all done.
“Sky and BT have to talk because if we keep playing on Wednesday and Saturday [at] 12:30, I’m not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players.
“I know [the broadcasters] don’t care and that’s the problem. We’ve discussed it for a long time and nothing’s happened.”
Player welfare, Klopp insists with much sincerity, is his only thinking for this well-defined viewpoint.
It cannot be argued that this particular stance is new or one that is hatched out of frustration of losing star players, either.
After all, this is a manager who once argued “if we handle them like horses then we get horses” over an injury to the unheralded Jordan Rossiter.
Speaking in 2015, Klopp said: “I did not want to start my first week at Melwood with a complaint, but it cannot be normal to play three games in five days, even in England.
“What can I say? These young players are our future.”
So clearly, Klopp’s interest in the wellness of players is not a neat narrative designed as a smokescreen to seek an advantage in the minefield that is the packed schedule.
No, the German’s ongoing protestations are genuine when he says: “I don’t talk about Liverpool, I talk about all the football players out there.”
Klopp, like his Manchester United counterpart, Ole Gunnar Solsjaker, has bemoaned the idea of playing on a Wednesday night and Saturday morning in the same week.
It is, though, a prospect he is faced with this week when he travels to Brighton for the 12.30pm kick-off after hosting Atalanta in the Champions League.
“It’s a massive problem,” Klopp says. “Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 is a broadcaster problem and nothing else.”
But perhaps the scheduling and injury headaches that have since become a migraine for Klopp can be eased after Wednesday night’s game with the Italians at Anfield.
It would mean two of the remaining nine games of 2020 would essentially become redundant for the Reds, allowing Klopp ample opportunity to rest and rotate.
With games in the Premier League against the likes of Wolves and Tottenham to come over the next few weeks, the opportunity to give his big guns a breather in the Champions League could be vital.
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After Wednesday’s game, Liverpool host Ajax on December 1 before the group stages conclude in Denmark against Midtjylland eight days later.
Failure by Ajax to beat the Danes in Amsterdam means the Reds will be through to the knockout stages for the a fourth successive season, should they triumph against Gian Piero Gasperini’s men.
That could give Klopp’s hurting squad some much-needed respite with 10 games still left to play before the turn of the year.