Jurgen Klopp questioned why Liverpool are seen by many as Manchester City’s only challengers for the Premier League title this season, and says only in England can you seemingly “win the title in the transfer market”.
Klopp’s side started their season with a thumping 4-0 win over West Ham at Anfield on Super Sunday, with goals from Sadio Mane (2), Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge, and the German said he “couldn’t have wished for a better” opening.
But having spent big this summer on Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri, and having beaten Manchester City three times last season in all competitions, many see the Reds as City’s main rivals. Klopp, however, says he does not find outside opinions interesting.
He said on Sky Sports: “I couldn’t be less interested in what other people say of us. We said it before the game again, what people say is sometimes nice, sometimes not so nice, but it is always not important.
“What is important is that we know what we want to be, and we want to be a challenger. How can we be something different? We didn’t win anything in the last few years, that’s the truth. And the other teams, I can’t see that they’ve got weaker. So why should we [be the only challengers] because we made a few signings?
“It’s only an English thing, where you can win the league in the transfer window. It’s not possible. It’s not interesting. We did our business, other teams did theirs last year, two years ago, whatever. We did it this year because we felt it was the right moment to do so, that’s all! We enjoy our role, and all the rest is not important to us.”
Regarding Liverpool’s start on Super Sunday, Klopp said everything went according to plan, and said the difficult selection decisions he had to make show the squad’s strength
“You cannot wish for better. It was a fresh start from the first minute, everything looked like it should have been. It’s a good day. It’s only the start, and we know that, but for a start it was really good. We all know West Ham have a lot of quality, individual quality. In all other situations we were really concentrated defensively.
“It’s a good game, now let’s carry on. It’s all good, but for the moment, it’s no more. It’s a nice moment, and we can enjoy it for two, three hours, and then prepare for Crystal Palace.
“We already today, with a few injuries, had to make really hard decisions. Alberto Moreno not in the squad, I have no explanation for that, apart from needing Clyney on the bench, or others on the bench.
“It’s quite difficult to strengthen this squad, because this squad is good. They are used to the style of play, sometimes it needs a bit of time, I have no problem with that.
“Only the public and media could cause problems by questioning constantly why some aren’t playing. We need everyone in that squad before the end of the season.”
Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled with injuries in recent years, scored after coming on with his first touch, and Klopp praised the 28-year-old after a fruitful pre-season.
“What was it, 10 seconds? 12 seconds?! Ha ha! Sometimes you need luck in life. He didn’t need luck in that situation; he only has the nose for it in those situations. It’s brilliant. Sturridge had a fantastic pre-season, the best since I’ve been here, and it gives us unbelievable new options.”
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