Jurgen Klopp has been accused of disrespecting Aston Villa with his team selection for Friday night’s FA Cup third round clash.
A Covid-19 outbreak forced Aston Villa to field what was effectively an underage team against the defending Premier League champions and former Ireland forward Tony Cascarino believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp should have altered his starting XI accordingly for the FA Cup tie.
Klopp named an incredibly strong team for the game at Villa Park and while the sides went in at the half-time break level at 1-1, Liverpool’s experience told in the second half and the Reds ran out 4-1 winners.
Cascarino admitted that he was disappointed with Klopp’s selection and while he acknowledged the German’s desire to win, Cascarino suggested that the Liverpool manager could have approached the match with more consideration for the circumstances.
“To be honest, I was a bit disappointed Liverpool didn’t go with an Under-23s team,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
“There will be many supporters around the country who would disagree with me on this, but I was wanting it to be on a level playing field.
“I didn’t want Liverpool to have Champions League-winning players to go against a Villa team that was more like Under-18s, actually, than Under-23s.
“I would have loved if Jurgen Klopp had gone, ‘you know what, just because we’re Liverpool and we respect what’s happened at Villa Park, we’ll go with Under-23s too’.
This is amazing 😂
Louie Barry swapped shirts with Fabinho, but after a word with a member of Villa staff, chased him down the tunnel to ask for it back!
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 8, 2021
“I wanted that to happen.
“I get why they didn’t, because it’s a competition Klopp feels they can win so he went strong so he could win the game.
“Listen, I might be wrong on this, because Villa players might have learned a lot from playing against a quality opposition with a lot of top players, and I’m sure they did.
“That’s the standard they’re looking at, that’s what they’ve got to get to and it’s a massive gap between where they are in their careers at the top level, so I get that side of it. That was the one benefit for the Villa youngsters.
“And every mum and dad that watched their son play on the telly would have been really proud of their performance.
“So I understand why Liverpool did it, I’m just not 100 per cent behind it.”