Manchester United possess quality midfielders, says Klopp
by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
Ahead of Liverpool’s cracker against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, coach Jurgen Klopp has praised the Red Devils’ midfield for possessing quality players.
Klopp listed Scott McTominay, Fred, Christian Eriksson, Donny van de Beek and Bruno Fernandez adding they possess real qualities.
Recall that in the preseason tour, Manchester United plummeted the Reds 4-0 at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok where Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri starred commendably.
However, United fans were of high expectations after the Liverpool encounter but since the Premier League started, the club is yet to record its first win and wallow at the bottom of the Premier League table.
Klopp analysed the tactics Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is trying to adopt in Old Trafford which he admitted doing similarly during his first reign in Premier League.
He said, “It’s obvious what he wants to do, he wants to build up from the back.
“We played them in the pre-season obviously. There, you could see and feel the high-press idea and these kinds of things.
“We were, for sure, not ready for that game in the pre-season. We made some mistakes but they used them really well,” Klopp continued.
“The individual quality of United upfront is ridiculous. I heard (Anthony) Martial can play probably: he played against us obviously a really good game, so another boy with technique and speed.
“(They have) football quality in midfield, whoever lines up he will have (Christian) Eriksen, (Bruno) Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Fred and (Scott) McTominay.
“There’s real quality there and then it’s just about how we deal with that.
“I saw their two games and now we have to try to figure out if he (Ten Hag) will change and what he will change,”
“We go from there. If we have no idea then we just have to learn it in the game,” He added.
The former Dortmund boss also indirectly held brief for Ten Hag when he lampooned former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor over his comments against the United boss.
Agbonlahor, after United sustained the humiliating defeat to Brentford, opined that the Dutch gaffer should ‘just pack up’.
“If I was them now after this game I’d be thinking, ‘You know what, (Erik) Ten Hag, just pack up’,” the former England international said.
“He’s had pre-season and they have started the season as a shambles, they’re like strangers on the pitch,” he added.
In a reaction to Agbonlahor’s outburst, Klopp claimed the 35 years’ views were obviously out of place.
“It was that bad,” said Klopp
“It was obviously not a nice week for United after the Brentford game, we forget in these moments how good Brentford is.
“I watched the first half here and then drove home and listened to talkSPORT and Gaby – he lost against us 6-0 in my first year and I could not remember him as a mentality monster on the pitch – what he said about United, I was close to calling in and tell him ‘You forget completely you have been a player’.
“It was completely unbelievable. And if ex-players go in like this then you can imagine how everything else is going,” Klopp added.
Liverpool aim to get their first win after two consecutive draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace to rock the 12th position on the Premier League table while United, seeking to reignite their campaign for the season.
However, Klopp will have to travel to Old Trafford without Darwin Nunez who conceded a red card in Anfield for headbutting Joachim Andersen.