Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum believes the anger and frustration he felt towards manager Jurgen Klopp for not starting him against Barcelona, inspired him to score a crucial brace in the remarkable comeback.
The Dutch international was benched in favour of James Milner for the game but was given his chance in the second half when Andy Robertson went off injured at halftime.
Wijnaldum says his love/hate relationship with Klopp is something that inspires him to keep proving himself:
“With the manager, it is more or less hate and love. I am sure he has the best interests at heart with every player in the squad, but sometimes you are so involved in a match and the manager is still chasing you.”
“Then you just boil over sometimes and, in my case, I do get angry with him. I still don’t know if what happened against Barcelona was his real plan. But that night I was so angry and so disappointed that he did not start me. Looking back, we can say things worked out all right. We will never know how it might have gone if the manager had started me.”
Klopp is known for shouting and bellowing at his players from the sidelines during matches and it clearly aggravates Wijnaldum at times, but it’s also clear that both men appreciate what the other offers hugely.
Wijnaldum has been a regular starter under Klopp ever since he arrived from Newcastle three years ago. He is one of the Reds manager’s most reliable lieutenants on the pitch having started 43 times in all competitions last campaign.