Mark Clattenburg has suggested that Jurgen Klopp is quite similar to Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, referencing the latter’s difficulty dealing with losses.
The Englishman courted controversy after accidentally revealing that officials would give Ferguson’s side an easy run with officiating decisions because of the Scot’s presence.
“I remarked how not since Sir Alex Ferguson had we seen such blatant mind games. Klopp denies this and said: ‘I am not Sir Alex’,” Clattenburg wrote for Mail Online. “But then why did he mention United’s penalties so specifically? I don’t know if he was accusing United’s players of diving or if he was suggesting they got favourable decisions. Only he knows his motivation.”
“I also think he is getting prickly because of Liverpool’s recent form,” the ex-Premier League referee added. “I’ve seen it before with him, he’s not a good loser. Ferguson wasn’t, either. They are more alike than he perhaps realises.”
Liverpool sit three points behind their historic rivals, with a pivotal top-of-the-table clash on Sunday to decide who tops the summit at the end of the week.
To suggest that Klopp plays ‘mind games’ to the same extent as the United icon did is arguably wide of the mark, however.
It’s fair for Klopp to point out that United have gained more penalties than Liverpool of late – particularly in light of the fact that the Manchester-based club benefitted from “favourable decisions” during Ferguson’s tenure.
The former Dortmund man is a born winner, and Clattenburg is partly correct to note that Klopp hasn’t always taken too well to losing (what football manager does 100% of the time?).
However, for the most part, we’d argue that he tends to be more graceful in defeat than some of his counterparts.