Jurgen Klopp was a no show at Wednesday’s Carabao Cup press conference, choosing to instead to send assistant Pep Lijnders – and some fans think they know why.
The German boss has indirectly made it be known that the cup competition is a secondary target, with his decision to choose to field young and inexperienced players in the Reds’ last Carabao Cup encounter with MK Dons supporting this. Indeed, with the Champions League and Premier League taking such precedence in the eyes of many fans, it’s unsurprising that Klopp has chosen to downgrade the League Cup’s importance.
The club’s search for a first Premier League title certainly has the full focus of Klopp and his coaching team, but with another press conference no show, these fans believe that Klopp has subtly shown his disregard for the tournament:
Klopp really doesn’t give a damn about the League Cup does he? Only sending Pep Lijnders for press conference instead of doing it himself. Arsenal’s chance to shine then? @FariqBAzaha
— Alimuddin Zafrullah (@TheAleem) October 29, 2019
Klopp hates this competition .
— Nish (@klopposophy_) October 29, 2019
Other fans saw the Lijnders’ appearance as a sign that the Dutch assistant it being groomed to become Klopp’s eventual successor:
practice for when klopp has a sabbatical!!!!
— Neil (@Neil74186539) October 29, 2019
Getting on the job experience for when Klopp vacate’s the throne, looks like Pep has been given the responsibility for our league cup campaign this season, did the same last round.
— Shirni (@kloppite75) October 29, 2019
Pep lijnders doing the presser for the League Cup again.. does make me wonder if Klopp is letting him dummy run this as preparation for post Jürgen. Makes me think he’s team selecting and leading the training too for it ?
— Marty Sikora (@marty_sikora) October 29, 2019
what we think
As is so often the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in-between. It does seem as if Klopp has an inherent apathy towards the Carabao Cup, but likewise, it would also appear that Lijnders is, at the very least, being prepared for life in management. Whether Klopp is readying the Dutchman for the head coach role any time soon remains to be seen, but it certainly does show that Lijnders is highly regarded by the German, and indeed by many in and around the club.