Arsene Wenger has told Jurgen Klopp he must adapt to the traditions of English football after the Liverpool boss spoke out about his team’s fixture pile-up.
The Reds welcome Wenger’s league-leading Arsenal to Anfield tomorrow night after making 11 changes to their team for the 2-2 FA Cup third-round draw at Exeter on Friday night.
Liverpool face a run of six games in 18 days and now they have to negotiate a replay with Exeter, with Klopp saying the biggest difference between managing in England rather than Germany is the number of games.
But Wenger, in his 20th season at Arsenal, reckons adjusting to playing more games is something everyone who comes to manage in the Premier League is important.
“I must say you get that from everybody who comes to England at the start because you have to adapt to the English style,” he said.
“I was like that, and I’m still in favour of a winter break, but without losing the traditions of English football. That is play over Christmas, and maybe have a break in January.
“But I believe as well that we go a little bit overboard because today the English clubs are in a financial situation to have a squad of 25 top, top level players.
“It’s not like it was 25 years ago, so we cannot always complain that we play too much because we have players who can rotate, players who want to play.
“In every club now, when I look at the bench I am quite impressed with the players who are there and can play, so I don’t believe that it’s like we have 13 players who have to play every single game.”
Wenger revealed the club are confident of finally getting a deal over the line for Basle midfielder Mohamed Elneny this week and reckons there will be a flurry of activity this month.
“I believe many clubs will be active.
“You go from the clubs who are down in the table like Villa, who have to do something, to the clubs at the top.”
Klopp has revealed Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis has cleared a little in time for Arsenal’s visit to Anfield tomorrow night.
Klopp expects Kolo Toure and possibly Mamadou Sakho to play in the middle of his defence against the Premier League leaders, meaning the Reds may not have to deploy Lucas Leiva as a makeshift centre-back.
“I think Kolo will be available so we have a senior centre-back. Mama wants to be available, hopefully we can use him. We will see,” said Klopp.
Striker Alexandre Pato has been linked with a move to Anfield from Brazilian club Corinthians, but the Liverpool boss seemed to pour cold water on suggestions he was on the verge of joining fellow countrymen Lucas, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in his squad.
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