Stephen Gerrard. (Photo by Nick Potts / PA Images via Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said he wanted to Stephen Gerrard played instead of the dugout in the Aston Villa match against Manchester City on the last day of the Premier League season.
In Sunday’s City final, Pep Guardiola is one point ahead of Liverpool.
The Reds have to defeat the Wolves at home and hope the City jump off against the Villa to pick up the trophy.
The participation of the great Liverpool Gerard, now the manager of “Villa”, adds spice to the drama – the former midfielder has never won a championship title in his career at “Anfield”, full of trophies.
“I can understand such situations only by considering myself in this role,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“If I played the game and could help (former club) Dortmund or could help Mainz, it would give me extra motivation. But I don’t play. And Stevie doesn’t play – it’s a pity.
“It’s a lot more unfortunate that Stevie doesn’t play than I don’t. Of course we’re all human and we have things like that, but Stevie will take it 100 percent seriously, I’m sure I won’t call him or anything.
“I don’t need to. Probably the other members of the club have already done that, but I haven’t.”
Klopp’s team is chasing an unprecedented four after winning the League Cup and the FA Cup, and the Champions League final will take place later this month against Real Madrid.
But he said he was focused on his team’s match against the Wolves at Anfield, not on City’s game at the Etihad.
“We are playing to win, and” Aston Villa “- to win, that’s all,” – said the German manager.
“It’s a difficult place, and City is like that – if you go there and not 100 percent, you easily get five or six points. If you’re completely there, you have a chance to get a result like it’s always in football.”
Klopp said he is proud of his team’s season, whether or not they claim a record 20th championship title on Sunday, and the victory parade is scheduled for May 29, the day after the Champions League final.
“We have a lot of reasons to celebrate, to be honest,” he said. “We don’t know how many reasons, but we already have enough reasons. That’s enough to celebrate life.
“Of course, the Cup of Carabao (League), the FA Cup and all that will be. And, of course, the fact that we didn’t have a parade two years ago when we became champions (due to restrictions on coronavirus) is not a reason, but another reason ”.
Klopp has also confirmed that 27-year-old Belgian striker Orange Ariga will leave the club at the end of the season.
The Belgian national team has not played enough matches to cause a contract extension, and has been strongly linked with a move to AC Milan.
“He is and will forever be a Liverpool legend (and) one of the most important players I have ever had,” said Klopp.