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Martin Keown blasts Liverpool boss’ decision to play kids in FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury


‘If it was good enough for Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley, it should be good enough for Jurgen Klopp’: Martin Keown blasts Liverpool boss’ decision to play kids in FA Cup replay and says they should be going for EVERY trophy

  • Martin Keown is opposed to Jurgen Klopp’s plans for Liverpool’s FA Cup replay 
  • The Reds will face Shrewsbury at Anfield but Klopp’s senior stars won’t feature
  • Klopp has said Under-23 manager Neil Critchley will take charge of the game
  • Instead, the manager and his first-team players will be on a winter break 
  • Keown feels Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley wouldn’t have taken such steps 

Martin Keown has launched a passionate response to Jurgen Klopp after the Liverpool manager said himself and his senior stars would take no part in the club’s FA Cup fourth round replay with Shrewsbury.

After squandering a 2-0 lead at the New Meadow, Liverpool added to their fixture congestion woes by booking a repeat fixture into their busy calendar.

Following the match Klopp insisted himself and his side would be adhering to the winter break, meaning youth stars and Under 23 manager Neil Critchley would be taking charge of the fixture. Keown sees this as an offensive decision, and feels Klopp should take a note out of the books of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.

Martin Keown is passionately opposed to Jurgen Klopp’s plans for Liverpool’s FA Cup replay

After drawing at Shrewsbury, Klopp said himself and senior players would not be at the replay

After drawing at Shrewsbury, Klopp said himself and senior players would not be at the replay

Giving his response prior to Bournemouth’s FA Cup clash with Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium, Keown told the BT Sport studio his thoughts on why Klopp should respect the competition and allow his team a chance to win as much as possible.

‘He’s [Klopp] been talking about nothing else [other than congestion] for a number of weeks now. They had the opportunity yesterday to put out a stronger team,’ Keown began.

‘They looked comfortable in that match and it’s probably the most disappointing performance Liverpool have had in the last two or three years, they were a little bit complacent.

Klopp picked a mixtures of youngsters and more experienced players as the Reds drew 2-2

Klopp picked a mixtures of youngsters and more experienced players as the Reds drew 2-2

‘Shrewsbury were magnificent, how they got back into the game. I just feel Jurgen Klopp should maybe reflect on this and come back with a different story. If I was a player in that dressing room I’d want to actually win the FA Cup.

‘This is an amazing Liverpool team, and part of making that team great is winning every trophy so I feel they should put out their strongest possible team. The likes of [Jordan] Henderson, they’ve not won this trophy before. They should be (telling) the manager: “Look, we can do this”.’

A short winter break will allow Klopp to recharge his Liverpool side. They are still competing on the European stage as well as cup and domestic duties. 

Keown, however, feels the table-topping Reds should make an exception and capitalise upon their blistering run of form. 

‘Just for two weeks, we’re talking about life being different for two weeks, they want a two-week holiday whereas if they change that a little bit and still put a strong team in they can get past Shrewsbury,’ Keown continued.

Rio Ferdinand listened carefully to his fellow pundit before disagreeing with Keown's stance

Rio Ferdinand listened carefully to his fellow pundit before disagreeing with Keown’s stance

‘I think Klopp is worried what the FA Cup does to the Champions League and the latter stages, I think that’s the problem. The next round is gonna be played mid-week and it gets even more congested, the Premier League is pretty well won.’

Keown went a step further, comparing Klopp’s action to that of the club’s beloved former bosses Shankly and Paisley.

‘I think they’re talking about playing the team who played against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup and were thumped, I wouldn’t want to see that situation,’ Keown added.

‘Listen, if it was good enough for Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley it should be good enough for Jurgen Klopp.’

Fellow pundit, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, found himself unable to agree with Keown.

‘They weren’t playing as many games (then) as there are now though,’ Ferdinand immediately retorted after Keown compared the situation now to teams of Liverpool’s illustrious past.

‘There’s no rule that says he has to play a full team, I’m sorry I just don’t agree.’

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