Klopp defends Alexander-Arnold’s ‘this means more’ comments ahead of Liverpool vs Man City

Jurgen Klopp has defended Trent Alexander-Arnold’s comment that trophies “mean more” to Liverpool than Manchester City.

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Ruben Dias both questioned the remarks after Alexander-Arnold said Liverpool’s “trophies will mean more to us and our fanbase because of the situations at both clubs, financially”.

Klopp said the comments were not intended to be disrespectful and explained how the number of trophies City have won in comparison to Liverpool in the past 10 years can justify silverware carrying greater significance for his side.

“I’m not sure how often in this club we have to say that you know how much we respect the opponent, in this case City,” Klopp said. “How often we have to say, and mean, Pep is the best manager in the world. They have incredible players: probably the best no.9 in Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne will go down in history. Phil Foden, best English player at the moment probably. We all respect it and Trent respects it.

“He’s born in Liverpool.  He played through all youth teams. What would you think in this situation?

“One of our slogans that I love is ‘this means more’. And it means more to us. We have no clue what it means to other people, but what happens here means more to us.

“Two years ago we had a parade after winning the League Cup and FA Cup, losing the Champions League final the night before, losing the league by a point. Tell me a city where you have a parade where it looks like we won all these trophies without having them. The club is special to us. If it’s not special to other people, and we cannot change that, but if we feel it like that, why shouldn’t we be allowed to say it?”

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City have won five of the last six Premier League titles and last season added the FA Cup and the club’s first ever Champions League title to secure a treble.

Liverpool are the only team to interrupt City’s Premier League domination in that timeframe, winning the title in 2020.

“It’s just how he (Trent) feels and how we feel, and I have absolutely no problem with that,” Klopp continued. “In the last decade Manchester City are the most successful team in England. I’m sure it means a lot to their people, but for us, maybe it’s just for the fact we didn’t win that many, it’s special as well.

“We are not in the situation of winning five league titles, and winning a sixth and thinking ‘oh, number five was better’. We’ve never had that situation so we don’t know 100 per cent.

“You love these kind of interviews where someone tells you what they think and then the whole world tells you: ‘it’s not right what you think’. Nothing wrong with what Trent said from my point of view.”

Dias and Haaland both rejected Alexander-Arnold’s comments, citing the meaning attached to City’s treble last season. Guardiola, however, refused to be draw on the right-back’s remarks.

“I wish him well,” Guardiola said. “I wish him a speedy recovery to come back to the pitch as soon as possible. A speedy recovery for him and the next question.”

Liverpool and City meet at Anfield on Sunday with just a point separating Klopp’s league leaders and Guardiola’s side. Ahead of the fixture, Alexander-Arnold’s comments to FourFourTwo magazine had stoked the growing rivalry.

“You’re up against a machine that’s built to win — that’s the simplest way to describe City and their organisation,” he said.

“Looking back on this era, although they’ve won more titles than us and have probably been more successful, our trophies will mean more to us and our fanbase because of the situations at both clubs, financially.

“How both clubs have built their teams and the manner in which we’ve done it probably means more to our fans.”


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(Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

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