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Klopp continues Burnley grudge with shot at international break disparity compared to Liverpool

10:22 PM GMT+4 27/12/2021
Klopp, Dyche
The Reds manager suggested the Clarets weren't good enough to have many players represent their countries

Jurgen Klopp has taken another shot at Burnley, as his grudge against Sean Dyche's side continued Monday when he questioned why the Clarets would be against five available substitutes in the Premier League and suggested they aren't good enough to send players on international duty.

Klopp has previously bemoaned Burnley's physical style of play and earlier this year was involved in a dust-up with Dyche. His comments come despite Liverpool not playing Burnley this week; they next face off on February 13.

The Reds are among the teams pushing for an increase in substitutes in order to better protect players from injury. Other top leagues such as La Liga and the Bundesliga have already adopted the measure.

What has been said?

“What we realised again in the managers meeting - and we know it has always been like that - is how 14 clubs make the decision to change. You need 14 clubs," Klopp said.

“There is something wrong. Here is an example. With Burnley, I am not too sure how many of their players play international football. When our players play three games, they (Burnley) have no game. They have 38 Premier League games and three or four cup games, to make around 42 games a season.

"So we are talking about an issue which some clubs and players definitely have, but it is decided by the other teams and we make a competition of it. They say, ‘well they are better than us’, and that is a real problem. (Five subs) is the right decision, especially in this moment, because you bring players back in this moment, after Covid infection or an injury, and because of the games they have to play you risk injury and they have to go out again, maybe after 60 minutes. That is a real problem."

How many international regulars do Burnley have?

The Clarets have at least nine international regulars who have played in matches at that level over the past calendar year (though not all as first-choice squad members).

That list includes the likes of Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast), Matej Vydra (Czech Republic) and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland).

Bigger picture

Talk of five substitutes has been reignited by the combination of a congested holiday fixture list and Covid outbreaks around the Premier League.

However, there is no indication to this point that the division is close to amending its rules - though that of course could change under a public pressure campaign.

In contrast to Klopp, many of the clubs outside the top-half feel it would be unfair for the wealthier teams to be able to dip further into their depth during games.

Further reading