Paul Merson explains why he’s on Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp’s side
Paul Merson backs Jurgen Klopp's decision to put Neil Critchley in charge for Liverpool FC's FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury
Paul Merson says that he fully understands Jurgen Klopp’s decision to field a youth team for Liverpool FC’s FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town.
The Reds boss made the announcement on Sunday after his side were pegged back and held to a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup fourth-round clash.
Liverpool FC will now host Shrewsbury at Anfield in the replay on Tuesday 4 February, which falls after the start of the winter break in the Premier League.
Klopp has revealed that he will not be in the dugout for the game, with Under-23s boss Neil Critchley taking charge for the home tie.
Former Arsenal star Merson says that he fully understands Klopp’s decision given the amount of games Liverpool FC have had to play this season.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “Can I understand where Jurgen Klopp is coming from? 100 per cent.
“You’ve got to rest players; you’re going for the Premier League – a first league title in 30 years. No disrespect to Shrewsbury but that Liverpool team should have been good enough to beat them.
“They started well and faded, which probably shows you the inexperience and the difference between U23 and men’s football.
“I don’t know whether Klopp has booked something with his family or whether he’s got the hump and is having a go at the scheduling but why didn’t anyone think of this in terms of the planning?
“I managed in the lower leagues at Walsall. It was hard. I know these Liverpool lads are winning but it’s 24/7 – you don’t switch off. There aren’t enough hours in the day for a manager.
“Jurgen Klopp’s thinking about winning the league. He’ll think of himself and his team. If he needs a rest, he’ll have a rest.
“Ask the fans at Anfield and the millions of supporters around the world – whatever Klopp says will go. If he doesn’t go (to the replay), I’d like to think he’d sit down with the young kids and explain.
“I think he’ll stick with what he said. He’s got to bring the Premier League home – even though they don’t look like losing a game, I do think he needs a rest. I can understand people debating it but I don’t understand why he can’t have a break.
“Whatever he does, the Liverpool fans will be behind him.”
Liverpool FC are currently preparing for their Premier League clash against West Ham United in east London on Wednesday night.
The Reds can move 19 points clear at the top of the Premier League table if they win the game against the Hammers.
Liverpool FC will then take on Southampton at Anfield in their next Premier League game this weekend.