Former Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs has issued a staunch defence of Jurgen Klopp, describing calls for the Liverpool manager’s head as baffling.
The Reds’ 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday was their eighth in the Premier League this season, leaving them sixth in the table in addition to being knocked out of both domestic cup competitions and needing a miracle to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
There was even some social media discourse calling for the German to be sacked following the FA Cup defeat to Brighton in late January (via Daily Star).
That’s all a far cry from the standards we’ve usually set under Klopp, although one of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s former teammates reckons the 55-year-old has more than enough credit in the bank.
Gibbs told The 2 Robbies podcast [via Liverpool Echo]: “I always find it funny when people ask for Klopp’s head. It baffles me a little bit. But that’s kind of the world we live in now so it’s come to be expected.
“But they’ve competed heavily for every competition for the last five years. Three Champions League finals I think it is, a Prem, title challenge every year for that, there’s been a World Cup in the mix, a lot of players went to that.
“Klopp’s style of play is so intense that it’s not surprising that they’re having a down year.”
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Yes, this season has been a difficult one for Liverpool, but any calls for Klopp to lose his job would be preposterous.
Like Gibbs rightly points out, the German has taken us to massive heights during his time at Anfield and won every trophy available to him, apart from the Europa League in 2016.
He’s guided us to our most sustained run of silverware and title challenges since the 1980s, so one underwhelming campaign should not discolour the incredible job he’s done overall at the club.
The ex-Arsenal defender is also right to mention the intensity of Klopp’s philosophy, which is all the more pertinent when you look at how we played every match possible on the calendar in 2021/22 and had to go full pelt in each of those right up to the end of last term.
Let’s not forget that we still have a good two-and-a-half months of the current campaign still to go, so the German retains every chance of preserving his record of finishing fourth or higher in every full season he’s had at Anfield.
You can view Gibbs’ comments from The 2 Robbies podcast (from 20:50) in full below (via NBC Sports on YouTube):