Peter Crouch reveals his criticism of Jurgen Klopp that he’s tried to address
Jurgen Klopp has Liverpool bidding to win an unprecedented quadruple, with part of the Reds’ success coming down to their manager’s decision to address the kind of criticism Peter Crouch had levelled
Peter Crouch has detailed how Jurgen Klopp addressed criticism over Liverpool’s lack of squad depth last season to now rival Manchester City’s wealth of options.
The former Reds striker reckons that the additions of Ibrahima Konate and Luis Diaz, who both started their Champions League semi-final first leg against Villarreal on Wednesday, have been vital to Liverpool’s hunt for a quadruple and recovery from a campaign which saw them decimated by injuries.
Having lost Virgil van Dijk and other key players for long periods last term, Klopp and co bolstered the roster to great effect in the last summer and January transfer windows, as Crouch explained on BT Sport: “Without a doubt, they have improved the squad. You look at the bench and even today, they are missing (Roberto) Firmino but they still have an incredible bench, and you can see that with the number of changes that they have made today.
“One criticism last season when Liverpool won the league was that if one or two Liverpool players get injured, they are going to struggle and you can’t argue that, there are two players in every position and I think their squad most certainly rivals Manchester City’s.”
Only recently did Klopp label his current Reds crop the best squad he has had at his disposal during his near-seven-year reign at Anfield. The increased number of options has allowed the German to rotate his team and compete in four competitions, having previously underwhelmed in cups.
As Klopp alluded to in March after winning the League Cup, their transfer business has been the key behind being able to compete in multiple tournaments. “The boys have now really proper quality in depth, but we cannot play all competitions and go far in the competitions if we don’t have this depth, there is no chance,” admitted the Liverpool manager.
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“You can do it for a year when you are lucky with injuries, but I think we had years where Bobby [Roberto Firmino], Sadio [Mane] and Mo [Salah] played pretty much all the games, if I am right. Sometimes they came from the bench, but the next game they started again.”
Klopp shuffled his pack again for Villarreal’s visit to Anfield, selecting Konate over Joel Matip to partner Van Dijk at centre-back. In midfield, Jordan Henderson was recalled after starting the Merseyside derby on the bench. And up front, Diaz came in for Diogo Jota, whose goals have dried up in recent weeks.