Klopp not surprised Manchester United have fallen short

Andy Hunter
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images</span>
Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp believes Manchester United’s failure to compete for the title during his Liverpool reign is no surprise but the potential at Old Trafford means they are unlikely to take 30 years to win the Premier League again.

United have not been top of the table after 17 games since 2013, the year they last won the championship under Sir Alex Ferguson, but can go six points clear of the champions with victory at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool’s fierce rivals have not been close to winning a 21st league title since Klopp arrived in England in October 2015 – finishing fifth, sixth, second (19 points behind the winners, Manchester City), sixth and third under three managers.

Klopp, who ended Liverpool’s 30-year title drought last season, insists the changed landscape of the Premier League does not guarantee a club with United’s resources and reputation any success.

“Am I surprised they didn’t win the league in the last eight years? No, because it can happen,” the Liverpool manager said.

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“You don’t win the title because you are Man United or Liverpool. You win the title because you are the best side in that specific season.

“Once or twice they may have been really close to it, but then City came up in a crazy way and won it quite a lot of times, Chelsea was still there, Leicester did it in 2016, so it’s not a surprise that United couldn’t win it. If you are not in a top place and don’t play the best possible football in that year you can’t win it. The potential of United is incredible, so I don’t think it will last 30 years, but who cares?”

Klopp, who will give Joël Matip a late fitness test on an adductor injury, claimed United are in a more difficult position as Premier League leaders and not chasers. “Both are pressure, because you either want to have something you don’t have in the moment or if you’re top you want a bigger lead. There is pressure on both.

“I find it easier to be the hunter, the chaser, the challenger if you want, but maybe that’s because I wasn’t in the other situation as often in my life.

“My players deal with both situations pretty well and that is absolutely fine. How do we deal with it? For that you have to watch the game. Without watching the game we will not have the final answer.”