Jurgen Klopp vs Chris Wilder probably isn’t the fight we expected to see this season.
However, the two managers are very much embroiled in a war of words right now.
All season, the Liverpool boss has been pushing for the Premier League to introduce the five substitution rule that is being used across Europe. The Reds are suffering an injury crisis and the German believes being able to make five subs in a match would help protect the players.
But the ruling was voted down by Premier League managers at the start of the campaign.
Despite that, with every passing week, Klopp has made it clear that he’s desperate for the league to make that change.
That much has annoyed Sheffield United boss Wilder who clearly doesn’t feel the same way. And earlier this week, he called Klopp ‘selfish’ for looking after his own club.
“Cards on the table, [Klopp] is going to look after his own club,” Wilder said.
“I’ve got incredible respect for these top managers because they produce top results and win things. But they’re selfish, they look after their own clubs. They’re not going to be bothered about Sheffield United, they’re not going to be bothered about England.
“They’re going to be bothered about Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea, which I understand and respect. I would be the same, but I’m bothered about Sheffield United and it doesn’t help us to have five subs.”
Following a controversially 1-1 draw with Brighton in which they lost another player to a muscle injury in James Milner, Klopp hit back at Wilder.
“Ask Chris Wilder how we can avoid that [injuries],” he said.
“We had a talk between managers – a week ago now, I think – it was 15-5 if not 16-4 for five subs.
🗣 "Whatever Chris Wilder says I don't speak only about Liverpool, he speaks only about Sheffield United, he admitted that. I speak about football players"— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 28, 2020
Jurgen Klopp stresses that the need for 5 substitutions is not for tactical reasons but for players fitness pic.twitter.com/E2f6yrhu5W
“Chris Wilder says constantly that I’m selfish. I think the things he’s said shows that he’s selfish.
“This world is ruled by other people, the Premier League by Chris Wilder because he can decide all of us don’t need five subs because he doesn’t.
“We had the meeting. Everyone had to speak. Chris was clear, he thinks it’s not helpful for Sheffield United so doesn’t want to change. Fifteen others, if not 16, said they wanted to change.
“That would be enough if there was a vote but since then nothing happened. If that happens in January it could be too late. There are a lot of games to play.”
Wilder had an equally frustrating day as he saw his Sheffield United dominate West Brom but squander a hatful of chances as they lost 1-0 to remain bottom.
And following that defeat, he was asked about Klopp’s comments.
To be fair to the Sheffield United boss, he refused to talk too much about the Liverpool boss but did say: “There are 20 votes in this league and everyone looks after themselves.
“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for Liverpool and Jurgen. Whether it’s looking after the club or it’s selfish… There are a few other managers who have looked after their own and I will always look after Sheffield United.”