Jurgen Klopp has condemned Gabriel Agbonlahor for his rash judgment on Erik ten Hag and said he expects Manchester United to “fight back” from their Brentford humiliation against Liverpool.
The former Aston Villa striker-turned-pundit left the Liverpool manager in disbelief with his analysis of United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford on Sunday, when he claimed Ten Hag should “just pack up” after two Premier League games in charge having “started the season as a shambles”.
Klopp claimed he was so incensed by Agbonlahor’s comments that he almost rang TalkSport to complain. He believes the criticism, as well as United’s two league defeats so far, will fuel their motivation to make amends against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday.
The Liverpool manager said: “It was obviously not a nice week for United after the Brentford game. We forget in these moments how good Brentford is.
“I watched the first half and then drove home and listened to TalkSport and Gabby. He lost against us 6-0 in my first year and I could not remember him as a mentality monster on the pitch … but what he said about United, I was close to calling in and telling him: ‘You forget completely you have been a player.’ It was completely unbelievable. And if ex-players go in like this then you can imagine how everything else is going.
“Just ask yourself how would you want to react in a situation like that? You would fight back, and that is what we expect. The good news is when you play United it is always the same. We are not happy with our start, we have a few things which we liked as well. United can change nothing [or] can change everything, we don’t know. It is pretty tricky preparation-wise but it is early in the season and you don’t have a lot of information about teams.
“Crystal Palace played [for the] second time against us with five at the back so we had to go back a long time to get a few impressions of that. It is tough but it is fine. We play United away and it was never easy, will never be easy, so we try to do our absolute best.”
Liverpool, who won the corresponding fixture last season 5-0, will be without the suspended Darwin Núñez – sent off against Palace – at Old Trafford but have Roberto Firmino available to take his place after he recovered from a minor injury.
Klopp added: “Of course I spoke to Darwin. He was very disappointed with himself. He apologised, which is absolutely fine and we told him that. It is not necessary to walk him through the building with his head down. It happened. We are human beings. We have made mistakes in our life and will make mistakes in our life and you have to carry on. If you don’t do it again then it is all fine.”