What did Klopp have for lunch?

Published: Monday, 11 March 2024

What did Jurgen Klopp have for lunch if he thought Stewart Attwell was going to tell Michael Oliver he’d made a mistake? There was no chance of that happening. Zero. None. Not Sunday. Not ever. And I’ve been telling you all this for months now.

Of course Liverpool should’ve had a late pen - but once Oliver had decided otherwise, Attwell was in a really invidious position. There was no way he was going to ask Oliver to go to the monitor.

Not since Saturday, September 4 2022 has that happened. Do you remember the incident? The match was Forest v Bournemouth. Forest were awarded a pen by Oliver when Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly handled.

Before the kick was taken, Oliver was invited to the monitor to review his decision. He decided his original call was correct. Of course he did.

At the time we all praised him for having the guts to stick with his decision. I believe it was the first time a ref had stayed with his on-field call after being sent to check it. Well - overturn it, because that always happens.

What isn’t so well known - but I’ve referred to it before - is that Oliver was furious he’d been asked to check his decision and he let his colleagues know, in no uncertain terms, at their next meeting. I can’t think of too many times since - if any - when Oliver has been back to a monitor. I would add that he’s one of the busiest when he’s in the bunker - but the message is clear when he’s got the whistle - don’t bother me.

I mentioned this only last week. I’ve lost count of the other occasions when I’ve referred to it. I’ve had people ridicule me for sticking to my guns on it - but now do you believe me?

Oliver is a fool to himself behaving the way he does. Perhaps he didn’t see Doku do his Nigel de Jong impression? What’s wrong with checking? Or perhaps Guardiola’s pre-match comments (which the FA should ask him for his observations on) were rolling around in his mind? Whatever - Attwell failed to do his job properly.

I read as I write that Attwell believed Doku’s foot was in a ‘reasonable position’. Please. Why do we go through this farce every week? You got it wrong guys. No amount of covering up or excuses will change that.

Oh. Craig Pawson got another one wrong as well. How on earth did Jakub Moder stay on the pitch at Brighton? Was his foot in an ‘reasonable position’ as well guys?

I guess you could argue that Pawson shouldn’t have been needed in the bunker, because Michael Salisbury should’ve shown red immediately that Moder assaulted Neco Williams. It’s worth pointing out that both refs have got form when it comes to howlers this season.

It isn’t getting any better Howard (showbiz showbiz showbiz) is it? But I guess they’re giving you plenty to go at on the next episode of Sorry! And get a grip on Oliver.

As for the game at Anfield - it was terrific. We really enjoyed it here in the Middle East. I went on air a little concerned that it might let us down - as so many big games have recently - but there was no need to worry. Everyone gave everything they’d got - except for Pep Guardiola post match - again.

What is it with this guy? Guardiola was just plain rude our reporter - the excellent Andy Kerr. If I’d been Kerr I’d have shut the interview down and walked away. And I told him as much afterwards.

Guardiola was a disgrace. He couldn’t be bothered. He offered nothing - just one-word answers and a daft smile. He looked at Kerr like he was a piece of shit on his shoe. He did the same last week. In fact - he does the same most weeks. I’m told he was just as dismissive to my mate Jan Fjortoft, but I haven’t spoken to Jan so I’m not certain.

Guardiola only talks to journos because he’s contracted to do so. He let his feelings about us be known at a press conference last week.

But here’s the thing Senor Guardiola. We’re all trying to do a job - just like you. Nobody, whilst doing that job, deserves to be ridiculed by you. Andy Kerr deserved better Sunday, not because you have a contractual obligation to speak to him - but because you have a moral obligation to treat him - and others - with manners and respect.

Andy is talking to you as a conduit between you and your supporters - and there are more of them in our broadcast area than anywhere else in the world.

I’ve suggested to my bosses that we should simply ignore you unless you come down off your high horse and behave. Sadly that won’t happen. But it should.

I could understand Guardiola’s attitude a little more if the pen had been given. If City had been beaten. If frustration had got the better of him - but none of those things applied.

When I watch him, Guardiola gives me the impression that nobody has a right to ask him questions, because none of us has the same lofty genius that he clearly believes elevates him above everybody else. He might be right - but, as my old mum used to say - good manners cost nothing.

We’ve got to mention Spurs. What a good job they did on Villa. They spanked them - and it had nothing to do with McGinn’s sending off. It had more to do with Emery getting it wrong in a big game again. That’s a worrying trend if you’re a Villa fan. But that shouldn’t detract from Spurs’ performance. They were great in that second-half.

I was going to have a little pop at Sunny Jim again today, but Andy Dunn got their first. I like Dunn’s stuff and he was spot on in The Mirror today. Read his column for yourselves…..


Brilliant. I couldn’t have put it any better. The only thing I’d add Andy, is that I’m not sure Seb Coe should be anywhere near the project. I like Coe as well, but the last project he was involved in led to the London Stadium being built - a hybrid athletics/football stadium that’s never been fit for purpose.

Finally, on the first day of Ramadan - may I wish all of you celebrating love and blessings, good desires and purity. Ramadan Kareem.