Gary Neville’s comments on Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League campaign caused a stir.
The Reds reached the final of the competition last season and strengthened in the summer in an attempt to go on another lengthy run in Europe.
But in Neville’s opinion, Liverpool should ignore the Champions League this season and focus instead on winning the Premier League.
"The Champions League - if I was Liverpool, I would kick it into touch,” Neville told The Times.
“Why? I think their method is exhausting for the front three. The drop in quality below them, if there are injuries or playing Wednesday, Saturday, I think it will take its toll."
Neville’s quotes were raised at Jurgen Klopp’s press conference on Friday, and the German's response was damning.
"How should that work? We don't play Champions League, or what?" Klopp said.
Neville v Klopp
“Gary should come over and tell me exactly how that works.
"How do you prepare for a game when you don't focus on it? Bring your kids into the Champions League, that would be funny.
"I don't know what he means, to be honest. We have to play football.”
Sacrificing the Champions League is something no manager would consider, let alone Klopp.
But Neville thinks that the German wishes he was in a position to do so as he continues to pursue his first trophy as Liverpool manager.
Neville responded to Klopp with a tweet on Friday evening.
But he first delivered a message to a journalist who reckons he has been put in his place by Klopp.
“He actually agrees with me but you and I know he can’t admit it…,” Neville said.
“A coach can not always say what he thinks. A pundit can!”
The former Manchester United defender then defended his original comments and said he hopes Liverpool play their strongest team in every match.
Neville added: “Mad world this one! You make a comment that Liverpool are actually capable of winning a league title (but my reservations are them playing too many games sat/wed/sat) for the first time in 30 years and it’s seen as a dig!
“I actually hope they play their best team every game!”
Neville certainly wasn’t making a dig.
But the suggestion that Liverpool should 'kick the Champions League into touch' was never going to be taken well.News Now - Sport News