Klopp dismisses Kane criticism as ‘rubbish’
The Liverpool boss is backing the Tottenham striker, who he is set to face at Wembley on Saturday, to rediscover his spark amid claims of fatigue
Jurgen Klopp feels suggestions that Harry Kane is labouring for Tottenham are “rubbish”.
England captain Kane won the World Cup Golden Boot as his country reached the semi-finals of Russia 2018 but has appeared short of his best over recent weeks.
The 25-year-old striker still managed goals in Spurs’ wins over Fulham and Manchester United last month and Klopp is refusing to indulge in the notion Kane is currently below par as Liverpool prepare to travel to Wembley on Saturday.
“That’s just rubbish, I would say,” he told Sky Sports.
“After a World Cup when England got so far in the tournament they have no rest.
“He had maybe two weeks [of] holiday. He cannot get the rest
“He will find his form, maybe at the weekend. And he has delivered already. We judge Harry Kane because he is at the highest level.
“If you go through the line-up of Tottenham you can see that they can replace Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris [both of whom are injured this weekend]. They have a very good squad used to all situations.”
Klopp offered further sympathy over Kane’s lack of a break and conceded Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson was in the same boat after his World Cup exertions with England.
“A good pre-season should be three or four weeks and a good break should be three or four weeks,” he explained.
“They didn’t have it. We say a lot over the past few years that we ask too much from the players. It’s a weird situation.
“And now with the Nations League you see the national coaches cannot rest our players because it is a proper competition.
“It’s a constant challenge for all of us, but we have to deal with it and nothing can be perfect.”
Liverpool’s perfect record of four wins from four over the opening weeks of the season has heightened anticipation of a sustained title challenge from Anfield this time around.
Their manager is keen to temper expectations at this stage and feels Tottenham also have the capacity to challenge reigning champions Manchester City for the Premier League crown.
“We have to be good. We are Liverpool and we have a good squad. We must work hard on the pitch, on the training pitch and at any specific stadium every week, Klopp said.
“We have to be much more consistent, we have to be 100 per cent focused in every competition.
“We need all our players to make specific changes in certain moments and then maybe it can be good.”
On whether Tottenham can challenge for top spot, Klopp added: “Of course, of course 100 per cent.
“They are a great team. They have played together for four, four-and-a-half years. It’s still a very young squad. It is a really interesting project what they are doing there.
“They can cause anybody problems but so can we.”