'Completely wrong!' - Klopp slams Premier League chief for failing to ensure five substitutes

Klopp Liverpool 2020Getty

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has once again bemoaned the decision not to allow five substitutions in the Premier League this season, claiming Premier League CEO Richard Masters sold it "completely wrong". 

Trent Alexander-Arnold had to be substituted during the second half of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, having suffered an apparent calf injury.

The full-back was due to be part of Gareth Southgate's England squad for games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland during the November international break.

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However, Klopp has said Alexander-Arnold will not be available for those upcoming fixtures during a hectic schedule in a 2020-21 season that will climax with the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Premier League clubs voted down the use of five subs for this term, a rule that was utilised when the previous campaign resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break. Klopp has express his disbelief at that decision.

"It's a lack of leadership," Klopp said in his post-match media conference. "Richard Masters sold it completely wrong.

"It's not an advantage [to be able to use five substitutes], it's a necessity. It happens in other countries, it was sold completely wrong and now you have this situation.

"Trent will be out for England, [he] will not be the last or only one Gareth will have to deal with either."

Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool 2020-21Getty Images

City counterpart Pep Guardiola echoed Klopp's views on the decision to revert back to three changes per team in the top tier, which was taken at a shareholders meeting in September.

Asked about what he had discussed with the Liverpool manager at full-time, Guardiola – who used just one change during Sunday's clash – told Sky Sports: "We did not speak about the result. We spoke about how we have to fight again about five substitutions.

"Look, an international England player – Trent Alexander-Arnold – is injured. All around the world, five substitutions. Here, we believe we are more special and have only three.

"We don't protect the players. That's why it is a disaster. I will demand that we come back with five substitutions to help the players, the managers everywhere. If not, it is difficult to sustain it." 

Klopp also backed up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's criticism of the schedule, the Manchester United boss having hit out at his side being made to feature in the early kick-off on Saturday just over 48 hours after returning from a Champions League fixture in Istanbul.

"We have to find solutions, it’s so tough and we need to play football but Wednesday night and 12:30pm [Saturday] must not be allowed," Klopp said.

"If the Tuesday teams are in contention for Saturday that's okay, but the Wednesday [teams] should not be in contention for those games.

"Tonight we lost Trent and I'm pretty sure Gareth is not fine. If we play the Euros, we will see who is involved in that."