Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says he has spent the last fortnight watching football from behind his sofa hoping that none of his players picked up injuries while on international duty.
Reds’ midfielder Gini Wijnaldum reported back to Melwood with a hip injury after limping off during Holland’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to France and at the time of writing, it’s unsure whether he will be involved against Manchester United this evening.
It’s incidents like this that can give any club manager a real headache and when your biggest rivals are coming to town, you can do without them.
Speaking in this evening’s programme, the boss explains how he deals with international fixtures that involve his players.
“I spent most of the last two weeks watching matches from behind my sofa and nervously looking at my mobile phone, waiting for the players to message,” said Klopp.
“It is one of my rules with the players: they must report back directly after they’ve played international matches. A simple ‘thumbs-up emoji’ is usually the message I am waiting for! Okay, that is a joke. Clearly I want a little more information than this, as does our medical team.
“It is a strange feeling really. Of course, there is a selfish element to it but also quite a parental feel. You want them to do well, you want them to enjoy it, but you want them home safe-and-sound when they are done.
“These feelings though are pretty much restricted to me as the manager and the coaching staff (and the supporters I’m sure). It doesn’t affect the players and nor should it.
“I tell them very firmly: when you are with Liverpool you think only of Liverpool; when you are with your country you think only of your country. This has to be the attitude.”
Read the manager’s and skipper’s programme notes in full for every Liverpool FC home game on the KopTalk members‘ website.