After Gary Neville described Anfield atmosphere as worst he’d ever experienced for a Liverpool vs Manchester United match, Klopp calls for more support from fans ahead of Premier League game with Arsenal: “If you are not in the right shape, give your ticket to somebody else”
Jurgen Klopp has criticised Liverpool supporters, saying he was “not overly happy” with the atmosphere created at Anfield during his side’s 5-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over West Ham.
Just three days on from Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville saying “the atmosphere was the worst I’ve seen at Anfield ever for a Liverpool-Manchester United game,” Klopp delivered his own criticism of Liverpool’s home supporters.
The Reds boss also made a point of issuing a rallying cry for the fans to generate a much bigger noise for the pivotal visit of Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday, in the 5.30pm kick-off live on Sky Sports.
The comments from Klopp and Neville come despite an increased capacity at the famous ground due to the expansion of the Anfield Road Stand.
On Sunday, the rivalry match between Liverpool and United – which ended up 0-0, a disappointing result for the hosts – saw 57,158 fans attend, the highest attendance at Anfield since 1963.
There were even more people there on Wednesday, with 57,332 on-site to watch Liverpool reach the last four of the cup competition.
“I have to say – it’s long ago that I said this – but I thought the first half a little bit, when the boys played really exceptional, I was not overly happy, I have to say, with the atmosphere behind me,” said Klopp.
“I don’t know. I don’t ask people, what do we want? We changed a lot of things. We dominated West Ham like crazy. We missed chances. And I mean, if I would be in the stand I would be on my toes, 1,000 per cent.
“I don’t know if the Man United game was that bad that we have to say, ‘oh sorry that we didn’t smash them’.
“We need Anfield on Saturday. Without Anfield, I would say – after they (Arsenal) didn’t play this week just to make sure I know… Sorry they didn’t play. They prepare for this game and anyone who knows a little bit about them, they will be prepared.
“So, we need Anfield on their toes from the first second without me having an argument with the opposition coach. We need you from the first second.
“If you really want, if it’s too much football in December, I don’t know. Sorry we have to play it as well. But if you are not in the right shape, give your ticket to somebody else.”
What did Neville say about the Anfield atmosphere?
Speaking after Liverpool and Man Utd drew 0-0, Neville suggested over-confidence may have been to blame for what he considered to be an underwhelming atmosphere, with Klopp’s side unable to replicate their 7-0 thrashing of United from last season.
“The atmosphere was the worst I’ve seen at Anfield ever for a Liverpool-Manchester United game,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve always been complimentary of Liverpool fans. It’s the biggest crowd they’ve had here in 60, 70 years. But it’s the quietest crowd I’ve seen in this game.
“I don’t know what was up today. There was maybe a bit of over-confidence before the game.”
Olivia Martin is a dedicated sports journalist based in the UK. With a passion for various athletic disciplines, she covers everything from major league championships to local sports events, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis.