Murphy: Klopp’s run of final defeats will ‘become an issue’ if it continues
Danny Murphy believes Jurgen Klopp’s miserable record in major finals will “become an issue” should Liverpool suffer Champions League defeat to Tottenham.
Reds boss Klopp has lost his previous six finals as a manager, including three since his arrival at Anfield in 2015.
Ex-Liverpool midfielder Murphy has backed the German to halt that alarming run in Saturday’s all-English clash with Spurs in Madrid.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 31, 2019
But the 42-year-old, who represented the Merseyside club between 1997 and 2004, feels serious questions will be asked of Klopp’s record if the five-time European champions come out second best at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“Obsession with trophies, I get. Ultimately, every player and manager is judged on winning trophies,” said Murphy, who has partnered with Greene King as part of their summer of sport.
“But if Liverpool don’t win, are the fans going to want Klopp to leave? No.
“It just means the pressure gets bigger again.
“You can only judge him on the Liverpool ones really. I think there are things in the Liverpool finals he could have done differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“Ultimately, will they be forgotten if they win on Saturday? Yes.
“If they don’t win it will become an issue. But let’s hope they are forgotten.”
Premier League runners-up Liverpool were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final in Kiev, having already lost the 2016 Europa League and Carabao Cup finals under their current boss.
While in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Klopp was defeated in the 2013 Champions League final by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich and lost successive German cup finals in 2014 and 2015.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has also attracted criticism for his failure to land silverware since moving to the Premier League.
Former England international Murphy, who played for Spurs in 2006 and 2007, is a big fan of both coaches and praised Pochettino for achieving results while coping with a limited transfer budget and playing at Wembley during construction of the club’s new ground.
“I think Pochettino has done an incredible job in the five years he’s been there,” said Murphy.
“What he’s already achieved is like winning something – top four in the Premier League, getting to the final of the Champions League. That’s like winning something, but it’s not on paper.
“They’ve done it without signing players in the last couple of windows, they’ve done it away from their own stadium.
“But on the flip side, Klopp’s done a wonderful job too – bridging that gap to Man City, two Champions League finals in two years is incredible.
“Liverpool are now consistently one of the best teams in Europe.
“So two great managers who I think, no matter what happens, we’ll see in the same jobs next season.”
Murphy appeared in two European finals during his playing career.
He clinched a cup treble with Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool by beating Spanish side Alaves 5-4 in the 2001 UEFA Cup, before losing 2-1 to LaLiga giants Atletico Madrid with Roy Hodgson’s Fulham in the 2010 Europa League.
The retired set-piece specialist was Cottagers captain for the Atletico match and admits the pain of that extra-time defeat was difficult to handle.
“The devastation I felt on losing that final, I can’t put into words,” he said.
“It was the most horrendous evening of my life. I’ve had a few but that was the worst.
“The feeling of losing any final is awful and I pity any of the players that have to do it (on Saturday).”