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Jürgen Klopp and James Milner nearly came to blows according to former Liverpool defender

Jürgen Klopp and James Milner nearly came to blows according to former Liverpool defender

Klopp & Milner narrowly avoided fight night

Former Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan lifted the lid on a past incident between Reds boss Jürgen Klopp and veteran midfielder James Milner in a recent appearance on the Betsafe podcast, claiming the pair nearly came to blows in a dressing room bust-up during his spell at the club.

The Estonian international, who spent two years at Anfield after a move from FC Augsburg in the summer of 2016, went into detail surrounding the altercation, and the pressure mounting on Klopp in his second season at Liverpool;

“The biggest pressure was around Christmas and at the beginning of January. One time, I don’t remember who we played against. Maybe it was against Sunderland away.

Klopp and James Milner almost started a physical fight. It was the period when there was Boxing Day in England and they almost started fighting but eventually Milner stepped back.

We saw from his eyes that Klopp would have gone all the way just to prove his point. It was the most stressful time for him as well. He was under a lot of pressure.

It was my first and Klopp’s second year. What are you going to do? You’re supposed to be a good coach. You are Jurgen Klopp who will make superstars of all players. The pressure started getting to him.

It’s not supposed to be easy, but if you don’t deliver against a team like Sunderland, then you can forget about the places you had hoped for.”

Liverpool future uncertain for key lieutenant

Potential boxing matches aside, James Milner – now 35 – will be 36 when his current deal expires at Anfield, and his future at the club remains an uncertain one despite his status as one of Klopp’s key veteran presences on the pitch.

Jürgen Klopp and James Milner nearly came to blows according to former Liverpool defender

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: James Milner of Liverpool celebrates at full time during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on March 7, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Reds captain Jordan Henderson hammered home Milner’s importance to the team when the England midfielder signed his contract extension;

“He’s very dedicated and professional, as we all know. He’s great to have around the training ground. But he’s a top player as well and I think people forget that, even though he might be the age he’s at now, he could continue to play for another two, three, four years really in terms of his physical shape.”

Regardless of age, there is no player in the Liverpool ranks more capable of playing a deputized role to fill a need than Milner, on to his sixth highly influential season on the red half of Merseyside since joining from Manchester City in the summer of 2015. How Klopp intends to replace his versatility, experience, and leadership will be a question of the utmost importance.


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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