Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp claims five clubs do not want to change subs rule
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Jurgen Klopp says that three-quarters of Premier League managers have demanded five substitutes be reintroduced.
Klopp’s injury-ravaged champions face high-flying Leicester at Anfield on Sunday.
And he is still furious that a proposal to extend the emergency measures brought in to protect players during Project Restart was twice rejected by club chief executives.
The Premier League is the only major competition to revert to three subs this season – but Klopp has revealed that 15 of the 20 managers voted in favour of bringing back the rule during Wednesday’s LMA meeting.
That will crank up the pressure on clubs to now deliver the wishes of their managers by performing a U-turn – or risk a season brought into disrepute by widespread injury and illness.
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Klopp said: “We are in a really difficult situation where players are more under threat than ever before because of the situation the whole world is in.
“So we have to make sure we help as much as we can.
“We really have to talk about these things because otherwise nothing will change – and things have to change.
“Thank goodness we had the managers’ meeting – and, if we could have voted that day, it would have been 15 to five in favour of five subs.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t vote last time, but, hopefully, the people who decide can now make the next steps.”
Virgil van Dijk faces a long lay off
(Image: Getty Images)
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Liverpool have lost Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez with knee injuries that will potentially sideline them for the season. Skipper Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will also be missing against Leicester.
And, although Klopp is hoping Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho will be back, the game may come too soon for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, following his three-month injury absence, while Mo Salah is in isolation after testing positive for Covid.
Klopp insists he will not use injuries as an excuse.
But, as football comes under intense pressure to look into the growing numbers of former players suffering from dementia, the Liverpool boss has told football’s administrators that the time has come to listen to health warnings or pay the price.
Klopp said: “If you ask a player, as long as he can walk, then he always wants to play. That’s good, but my job is to find out if he underestimates the situation and overestimates himself.
“Most of these things we are used to doing as a club, but we need help from outside – and I don’t speak just as Liverpool.
“We need to make changes with the subs, we need to talk about the fixture list and all these kinds of things because our hands are tied.
“At Christmas, we will again play twice in less than 48 hours and we will have this discussion again – and everyone will look at me and say, ‘Oh, he is talking about all this stuff again’.
“At Christmas, from a physical point of view, it is possible to do what we do, but really dangerous and over the season it is the same.
“With the discussions about dementia and all the concussion stuff with heading the ball, maybe if people had talked about that 50 years ago we wouldn’t have to discuss it today.”