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MARK CLATTENBURG: Don’t be a hypocrite Jurgen, you guys are diving too!

MARK CLATTENBURG: Don’t be a hypocrite Jurgen, you guys are diving too! Klopp’s attempt to pressure umpires with Manchester United jibe comes straight from Sir Alex Ferguson’s playbook – Liverpool boss must be concerned

  • Jurgen Klopp has spoken out about his belief that Manchester United will receive more penalties
  • They were mind games – a blatant attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney
  • Let’s be clear – there is no conspiracy on the part of referees and officials
  • It is valid to emphasize the ease with which United players put gowns in the box

Jurgen Klopp should be concerned as his comments on Manchester United and sanctions last week came straight from Sir Alex Ferguson’s playbook.

They were mind games – an attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney and get into his head before a huge match between Liverpool and United next Sunday.

Klopp was right to say that United have won more penalties in two years than Liverpool in their five and a half at Anfield. He was smart because his comments could not get him into trouble with the authorities.

Jurgen Klopp must be concerned about Manchester United after his comments last week

Jurgen Klopp must be concerned about Manchester United after his comments last week

But let’s be clear: there is no conspiracy on the part of referees and officials. Did Klopp insinuate that it is? Or was he suggesting United has players encouraged to dive?

If his intention was the first, then I don’t have time for that. It’s just not true.

But if he emphasized the ease with which some United players go down in the penalty area, I believe he made a valid point. Even if it ignores similar suspicions about some of its stars.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on United this season, analyzing each of their eleven demerits.

There are as many as five of which I believe the contact was invited or even initiated by the United player.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood are the players involved.

They are smart in many ways.

Once there is contact and the penalty is awarded, VAR will rarely reverse the decision.

Sadio Mane was taken down after a challenge from Kyle Walker-Peters in the area

Sadio Mane was taken down after a challenge from Kyle Walker-Peters in the area

Sadio Mane was taken down after a challenge from Kyle Walker-Peters in the area

Klopp lamented how many penalty kicks rivals Manchester United receive compared to Liverpool

Klopp lamented how many penalty kicks rivals Manchester United receive compared to Liverpool

Klopp lamented how many penalty kicks rivals Manchester United receive compared to Liverpool

MARK CLATTENBURG’S VERDICT OVER THREE UNITED PENALTIES

Paul Pogba v Aston Villa, January 1

There was light contact from Villa’s Douglas Luiz, but Pogba tripped, causing the fall. I would keep playing. I was very surprised that VAR did not recommend a field side rating

Although there was light contact from Douglas Luiz, Paul Pogba himself stumbled here

Although there was light contact from Douglas Luiz, Paul Pogba himself stumbled here

Although there was light contact from Douglas Luiz, Paul Pogba stumbled here himself

Marcus Rashford – Newcastle, October 17

Rashford expects contact from Jamal Lewis and is already going down when the Newcastle defender waves his leg. Rashford should have been booked for cheating on the referee

Marcus Rashford should have been booked for fooling the referee in Newcastle

Marcus Rashford should have been booked for fooling the referee in Newcastle

Marcus Rashford should have been booked for fooling the referee in Newcastle

Mason Greenwood v RB Leipzig, December 8

Greenwood puts his foot over the defender while protecting the ball. The players go shoulder to shoulder and Greenwood goes under. Since there was contact, I wouldn’t have warned Greenwood about a dive – but it’s not a punishment

Mason Greenwood didn't dive against RB Leipzig, but it wasn't a penalty either

Mason Greenwood didn't dive against RB Leipzig, but it wasn't a penalty either

Mason Greenwood didn’t dive against RB Leipzig, but it wasn’t a penalty either

Also note that more players go down in what referees call the ‘dead zone’ in the penalty area, a position from which they have little chance of scoring. Rashford did it against Newcastle when he left the area and took the opportunity to go to the ground under a loose leg from Jamal Lewis.

But this is where Klopp has to be careful, because that’s exactly what Sadio Mane did when he fell too easily under the challenge of Kyle Walker-Peters in last Monday’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton.

The ball got out of play and, in a different position with the chance to score, I think Mané would have ridden the challenge.

So there were a few things to glean from Klopp’s post-match comments. First, he sounds like a hypocrite when he suggests United’s players want to win penalties. People like Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics.

People like Mohamed Salah (right) are just as capable of using underhanded tactics to win penalties

People like Mohamed Salah (right) are just as capable of using underhanded tactics to win penalties

People like Mohamed Salah (right) are just as capable of using underhanded tactics to win penalties

He’s clearly starting to get tense though, as since Fergie we haven’t seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big match. Klopp didn’t do this last season when Liverpool won every week.

He doesn’t like to lose, he never did. He gets prickly. But he is wrong when he suggests that there is an aura around United that makes them make favorable decisions. Fergie used to be there, but that has decreased dramatically since he left.

I am the only referee to give the opponent three penalties at Old Trafford, and that was for Liverpool, of all teams, in 2014.

But David Moyes was the manager – I’m not sure that would have happened when Fergie was around!

Sir Alex Ferguson argues with Mark Clattenburg when Manchester United hosted Aston Villa in 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson argues with Mark Clattenburg when Manchester United hosted Aston Villa in 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson argues with Mark Clattenburg when Manchester United hosted Aston Villa in 2013

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