Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been comparing the atmosphere among fans between the Ruhr derby and the Merseyside Derby.
The Reds boss was speaking to he Liverpool Echo in an interview which included former Reds defender Jim Beglin and former Everton player Kevin Ratcliffe. The German describes the animosity between Schalke and Dortmund fans as being “more aggressive” than the generous nature of the Everton fans he has met so far while he has been living in Liverpool:
“Since I’ve been here I get the feeling that the rivalry was more aggressive between Dortmund and Schalke. For example, you wouldn’t work for Dortmund if you were a Schalke fan. No chance. If you say ‘okay, I’m good at this and this, can I work here?’ They’d say: ‘what club?’ You say Schalke they say: ‘thank-you, now go’. Dortmund to Schalke is 25km. In Dortmund itself, there aren’t many Schalke fans but if you go 10km out there are a lot. As Dortmund manager, I lived in a street and my two neighbours were Schalke fans. They showed it every day, flying flags! If we lost to them the next day I’d see them and they’d be shouting: ‘Morning!’ When we won, they didn’t say hello. Here I feel it’s a little bit different. All the Evertonians I’ve met until now have been pretty friendly.”
Liverpool will face Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night. With Liverpool having rested many of their key players for the match against Bournemouth at the weekend, and Everton having a FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Saturday evening, it is expected that the Reds will name a much stronger line up than their Merseyside rivals although under pressure manager Roberto Martinez may have to pick a stronger line up than he would like after recent poor performances have put his future as manager at the club in question.