Jurgen Klopp criticises Arsenge Wenger's 'long ball' tactics

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There is bound to be no shortage of the customary figurative jousting between Premier League managers via media conferences this season.

With the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp all vying to assert their dominance in one of the most open title races in recent memory, entertainment is guaranteed.

Liverpool are set to visit Arsenal on Sunday and while the action on the pitch is sure to be heated, a war of words between the two bosses is brewing before a ball has been kicked.


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Klopp, whose teams are renowned for their intense, high pressure style, has challenged the conception that the Gunners play some of the most attractive football in the top-flight.

The German has accused his opposite number of resorting to an excessively direct strategy during the 3-3 draw between the two sides at Anfield in January.

"I think everyone who saw the game saw the difference between this game and all the other Arsenal games," Klopp said, as per ESPN.

"But in the last few years Arsenal had a more direct style. They have only good football players but at the end they don't use all of them in each build up or each offensive movement -- it is a myth. It is definitely a plan and they want to win games.”

Klopp suggested Arsenal’s ball movement is usually much easier on the eye but Wenger became over-reliant on two particular players in their previous meeting.

"Arsenal is usually a football playing team but last time against us there was a lot of long balls and always to Olivier Giroud.

"The second ball was to [Mesut] Ozil, they caused us a lot of problems in this game. That was a big threat on that day.

"We knew about it because a lot of teams chose this way against us so it we could have defended on this day better.

"It was not about what they did, it was about how they did it because it was highest quality with how Giroud and Mesut Ozil, especially, on this day performed.”

Klopp faces a tricky start to his first full season in charge at Liverpool with a trip to the Emirates, a fixture in which the Reds have taken three points only once in the last 15 years.

Sunday’s clash is the seventh meeting between the former Borussia Dortmund manager and Wenger, who leads their head-to-head record with three wins and one loss.

Klopp has invested a significant amount of money towards improving his squad this summer, bringing in Sadio Mane, Georgino Wijnaldum and Loris Karius among others.

His total expenditure for the current transfer window stands at just under £80 million – and there is still time for new faces to arrive before the August 31 deadline.

Should Liverpool make any more signings this summer? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Thierry Henry
Steven Gerrard
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Arsene Wenger

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