Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp slams Uefa Nations League
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that the Uefa Nations League is 'the most senseless competition' in world football.
The competition was introduced by Uefa earlier this year as a means to replace international friendly matches currently played on the FIFA International Match Calendar with all 55 of UEFA's member associations' national teams divided into a series of groups based upon a ranking formulated using their recent results.
Klopp said that the abolition of friendly matches has made it harder for club managers to request their players to be rested during international breaks with Liverpool's goalless draw with Manchester City on Sunday the Reds' seventh match in a period of 23 days.
"If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays you have 20 points, I would say with that fixture list, 'I'll buy it, let's start with the ninth matchday!'," said Klopp.
"The boys unfortunately go away again now and have to play Nations League games - the most senseless competition in the world of football!
"We hope that they come back healthy and play these easy competitions, the Premier League, the Champions League and all this.
"It's tough times for the boys, eh? We have to start thinking about the players. Somebody asked me, 'Is the level of the game (against City) because of the intensity?' - already in the question there is criticism (suggesting) it could have been better if you were fresher.
"If you want to see fresher, give them a summer break - for Jordan Henderson it was exactly two weeks, which is funny. But that's how it is.
"That's why I say going away is not a big problem but now you call a manager of any country and ask him to leave out one or two players and he says, 'I am under pressure as well' because now it's Nations League.
"I don't exactly know what you can win but there is some final next summer or something so that's it."
Meanwhile Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that City's 0-0 draw was an improvement on last season's visit to Anfield where they were defeated 3-0 in a Champions League quarter-final first leg.
"If it's an open game against Liverpool, you don't have a chance, not even one percent,” the 47-year-old said post-match.
“If it’s up and down quickly they are much, much better—they are maybe the best team in the world running these transitions, offensive-defensively.
“There is not a team better in the world than them, because they are built for that, created for that.
“It’s what Jurgen feels, and what the players take, for that sense. In that situation they are much better than us.
“We know how complicated it is to play this team in this stadium. They are incredibly good and incredibly quick, but we controlled the game well - we just didn't create.
“It's better than last season when we lost here."