I am always a little bit suspicious when rivals, be they football managers or anything else, say nice things about each other, especially when they are in direct competition with each other, so with Arsenal travelling north to face Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow I am taking a large pinch of salw with the comments of their manager Jurgen Klopp on our own Arsene Wenger.
As reported by Sky Sports the German, whose team last season condemned Wenger and the Gunners to a first year without Champions League football in two decades by just a single point, spoke about his respect for the Frenchman and gave his thoughts on the calls from Arsenal fans for him to be replaced.
Klopp said, “Arsene loves what he is doing and obviously he has all the energy he thinks he needs to do it.
“He is the only person that can judge this – apart from the board at Arsenal and they think the same, which is why they extended his contract.
“It was a long hard season and I think [Arsenal have always been] successful, always being in the Champions League and close to winning things.
“Then [sometimes] you can get the feeling that people don’t want you there anymore. I don’t understand this but I am not in the situation.
“The only thing I can say is that I respect him a lot. I really respect all the things he has done in the past, not just for Arsenal, but for football in general.
“He is a big, big manager in the history of the Premier League – and football – and he has all the power he still needs. I’m happy he is still there and we meet again on Sunday.”
Klopp saying he is happy that Wenger is still in charge sounds just a little too much like the taunts from rival fans when they chant ‘we want you to stay’ and it all smacks of condescension to me. Is Klopp being nice because he does not fear Arsenal and Wenger or see us as a threat to their own ambitions. Is he right>