Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has renewed his criticism of the Nations League, saying football doesn’t need the new competition in an already packed calendar.
Klopp labelled the tournament “the most senseless competition in the world of football” following his side’s goalless draw with Manchester City a fortnight ago, suggesting the below-par display from both sides was down to fatigue.
Now the German has followed up those comments with another stinging attack in the direction of UEFA, questioning how players can be expected to perform at their best when they have to play so many games.
A number of Liverpool players, including England duo Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, only had a short break over the summer following their excursions at the World Cup and Klopp feels the new Nations League, introduced as a more competitive replacement for international friendlies, only puts a further strain on players.
Henderson, Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez were called-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for games against Croatia and Spain during the international break while fellow Reds stars Simon Mignolet, Gini Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Xherdan Shaqiri were among those also in Nations League action for their respective countries.
“You don’t want to see Anthony Joshua fighting every other night. That’s not possible. In no other sports - the American football has a real, proper break, “ said Klopp ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
“Basketball they have a summer league. Only football. Everyone wants big competitions where you can get relegated, promoted, playing for something.
“At one point we have to think do we want opera every night, or every two months?
“I like competition but at one point somebody has to step back and think they are players, how can we make sure they perform?
“The Nations League is a good idea but do it in another sport. In football there is no space for it.”
"I could have just told my coffee machine because nobody is really interested."
Klopp's side are looking to arrest a run of four games without a win when they travel to the John Smith's Stadium, though they do remain unbeaten in the Premier League after eight matches.