Jürgen Klopp: ‘If our supporters stay like they are, Liverpool Football Club will be fine’

When an injury-riddled team prepare to face a side that has spent more than £1bn in transfer fees in less than two years, it seems as though there would be one likely winner. But such is the wonder of English football that the injury-riddled team sit at the helm of the Premier League standings, while the billion-pound side find themselves lingering in the bottom half of the table.

Forced to name a plethora of youngsters on his bench due to the injury crisis that continues to ravage his preferred starting eleven, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool did the unthinkable at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as they saw off Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea under the arch.

Just seconds after Virgil van Dijk slammed home the winning goal after 118 minutes, Sky Sports’ Gary Neville produced an iconic piece of commentary that will live to haunt Chelsea: ‘It’s Klopp’s Kids against the Blue Billion Pound Bottlejobs!’

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And Neville was right – there were appearances from six Liverpool players under the age of 22 throughout the showpiece final, playing a collective 320 minutes between them. With Klopp set to depart the club in the summer, this declaration of faith in the club and the academy system could have redefined the career trajectories of six young prospects.

‘The team, a squad, an academy full of character. I am so proud I could be part of that tonight,’ he continued, before adding that ‘the craziest thing is, we deserved it. We had lucky moments, they had lucky moments. The boys showed up, it was really cool.’

In his pre-match press conference, Klopp told reporters that he had heard the phrase ‘you don’t win anything with kids’ being floated around. ‘It is easily the most special trophy I ever won,’ he added.

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Quizzed as to whether the Carabao Cup feels like a fitting end for his tenure at the club, Klopp insisted that he ‘couldn’t care less about my legacy. I am not here to create one. You are here to do the job. We learn so much.’

‘It’s not a problem if the manager leaves. Only if the people leave. But if our supporters stay like they are, Liverpool Football Club will be fine,’ he explained, after soaking in the euphoric scenes amongst the Liverpool fans inside the ground.

But as Liverpool prepare to face Southampton in the Fifth Round of the Emirates FA Cup, Klopp admitted that he has ‘no idea who can play on Wednesday.’

‘We had a ref who wasn’t up to the level of the game. No common sense. We had players on the pitch who had problems. We asked Harvey [Elliott] and Lucho [Luis Díaz] to stay upfront and not go back anymore.’

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Klopp remained in high spirits despite his clear discontent with the refereeing team though, joking that ‘Darwin and Dom are not fit, that’s why they didn’t play, but in the celebrations they looked 100% so I will have to speak with the medical department about that!’

Liverpool will rightly celebrate adding another trophy to the cabinet under Jürgen Klopp, and they remain in contention for the Premier League title in addition to the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League.