Jurgen Klopp insists he shares Mohamed Salah’s frustration after Liverpool missed out on a Champions League place, but believes there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic ahead of next season. Manchester United ran out 4-1 winners over Chelsea on Thursday evening to guarantee a top-four finish in the Premier League with one game to spare, while Newcastle United, Arsenal and newly crowned champions Manchester City have secured the three other Champions League places for the next campaign. Shortly after the game, Salah said he was ‘totally devastated’ and insisted there was ‘no excuse’ for Liverpool’s failure to finish in the top four.
When asked about Salah’s comments, Klopp said on Friday: ‘I’m just a bit worried about the headlines you’ll create, to be honest. So do me a favour and try your best. In that moment directly after the game he’s right, it’s not a moment to send any optimistic messages but maybe now, a day later, I saw him in the canteen and he was smiling, I don’t know for which reason, I didn’t ask him, but he wasn’t in a bad mood. That’s it.
Klopp believes Liverpool’s lack of consistency in the first half of the season has cost them, but he is still optimistic for the future. He said: ‘We are in a season, not since a week or whatever, we are for a long time here it was clear, it’s not from a specific point, but it was clear this will not be a historically good season. I think we said everything about it that we are absolutely not happy, that we made mistakes, we couldn’t deliver often enough, we weren’t consistent enough. In fact, I think in the last 10 games, if I’m right even after Dubai since we were in the training camps after the World Cup, everything was not great but the amount of points we collected since then it’s pretty good, and if we could’ve done that over the whole season we would’ve been in a different place.
Klopp believes there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future. He said: ‘So, yes of course there are reasons for optimistic views because the things we showed in the last few weeks that’s definitely the case. We have other reasons for optimistic views because of the atmosphere our people created in our last home game, after the Villa game the atmosphere in the stadium, the way the club said farewell, the day after that how Bobby [Firmino] said farewell, all these kind of things are absolutely the basis for a fantastic future, so we don’t have to make it bigger than it is. It’s a football season, we didn’t deliver what everybody wanted and expected, rightly so, but we are still really united. And that’s the good thing about it, if you can go through difficult moments like we did last year, last season, I think that’s a really good basis for a better future.