'Last man standing': Klopp sad to see so many managers fired

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Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp waits for the start of the Champions League, round of 16 second leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

LIVERPOOL – Premier League managers are losing their jobs at a quicker rate than ever and it’s making Jurgen Klopp feel uncomfortable.

“The elephant in the room,” the Liverpool manager said Monday, “is why I'm still sitting here in this crazy world. I’m the last man standing.”

Not quite, but this is a Premier League season like no other in terms of coaching changes.

With Sunday marking the departures of Brendan Rodgers from Leicester and Graham Potter from Chelsea, it means there have been 13 managerial exits this season — a record for the Premier League.

Twelve of the 13 have been fired — also a record — with Brighton having only had to change coaches because Potter left the club for Chelsea in September.

The previous highest number of firings in a single season was 10 in each of the 2008-09, 2013-14, 2017-18 and 2021-22 campaigns, according to statistics provider Opta.

“It’s actually an awful number,” said Klopp, who also noted that Bayern Munich recently changed coaches in his native Germany, “but it is how it is. You always have years where it happens more often than others. Obviously some clubs are underachieving this year. We are.

“Especially when you are in a relegation battle, we all know how much it means from a financial point of view for clubs. And you could say similar things about being in the Champions League or not in the Champions League. There are expectations out there, rightly so, and if you don’t reach them you have to accept the decisions.”

Klopp is the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, having been at Liverpool since October 2015, and he is going through one of his toughest periods at the club.

The latest humbling performance was at Manchester City, where Liverpool was beaten 4-1 on Saturday in a display Klopp described as “unacceptable.” It left Liverpool in eighth place, eight points off the Champions League qualification spots.

Klopp is expecting another tough game on Tuesday when Liverpool visits Chelsea, which will be led by interim manager Bruno Saltor.

“I’m pretty sure Chelsea want to show a reaction,” Klopp said. “When you saw the Bayern game against Borussia Dortmund (Bayern won 4-1 on Saturday), there was also a reaction for whatever reason.

“It’s a strange week … The season gets to a decisive part and people are afraid of not reaching their targets.”


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