Manchester United legend Gary Neville is unlikely to be high on Liverpool supporters’ Christmas card list, even less so after he suggested recently that the club should bow out of the Champions League.
The outspoken pundit told Sky Sports that it would be best for Jurgen Klopp’s team to forgo a continental challenge in favour of their push for a long-awaited Premier League title.
Klopp, though, was having none of it: “I don’t think any other coach in the world answers this question if they are playing in the Champions League,” he said at his pre match press conference, as per the Daily Star.
“The pundits come from Manchester United and start this thing. We want to go through, we want to focus on this game. Even if it would harm us we cannot change this. The guys that write this question try and prove this is a possibility,” he finished.
What you just read is a thinly veiled shot at Neville specifically. Essentially Klopp is saying that it’s no surprise that a former Manchester United player has come out in favour of a Liverpool Champions League exit.
The Reds faithful will surely be echoing their manager’s words, united in their agreement that to forfeit a Champions League push would be completely nonsensical.
A European campaign is a perfect way to build momentum, particularly at a time in the season when Klopp’s players are looking increasingly nervous. If they can get into the winning habit again, both abroad and at home, then that will only behoove their title chances.
It makes no sense for them to forget about the Champions League. Their squad is capable of competing across two fronts, there’s no doubt about that.
It appears, then, that Klopp hit the nail on the head with his assessment of Neville’s suggestion, and the Liverpool supports will surely have loved his rebuke.