Pochetino wants officials to focus on the game, not Klopp's farewell in Carabao final

Carabao Cup final on Sunday set for emotional clash as Pochettino seeks fair play, Klopp prioritizes team success

by Sededin Dedovic
Pochetino wants officials to focus on the game, not Klopp's farewell in Carabao final
© Getty Images / Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea's astute manager, took center stage in the lead-up to Sunday's much-anticipated Carabao Cup final, stressing the fairness of match officials. Against the backdrop of Jürgen Klopp's imminent departure from Liverpool, Pochettino has voiced his concerns, urging caution against any potential bias creeping into refereeing decisions.

Namely, the Chelsea coach thinks that the announced departure of Klopp could cause emotions among the referees who could be partial to Liverpool. In what appeared to be a strategic move to set the tone for the upcoming clash, Pochettino stressed the importance of impartial refereeing, highlighting instances where he felt his team had been on the receiving end of unfavorable calls.

Recalling Chelsea's recent meeting with Liverpool at Anfield, where contested decisions seemed to have gone in the home side's favour, Pochettino stressed the need for parity on the pitch. "When we played at Anfield I think too many decisions but not one key decision was for us.

Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, always for another color. Always order. I want to be treated in a fair way. Of course we are going to celebrate. I am the first who is going to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world.

It's imperative that we enter this final on a level playing field," remarked Pochettino, alluding to the perceived injustices suffered by Chelsea in their previous match against Liverpool. "Fairness must prevail in every decision made by the officials.

We cannot allow external factors to influence the outcome of the game," said Pochettino. The Argentine tactician's remarks did not only refer to the technical aspects of the game, but also to the psychological aspects. With Klopp's impending departure looming, Pochettino was wary of the emotional fervor that could engulf the occasion, potentially affecting the judgment of officials.

"The pressure surrounding Klopp's farewell should not cloud the judgment of the officials," warned Pochettino. "While we respect Liverpool and acknowledge Klopp's enormous contribution, our focus must remain solely on the game at hand.

We must not allow sentimentality to overshadow honesty."

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur exchange words piror to kick off during© Jan Kruger / Getty Images

Pochettino's attitude reflects his desire for equal conditions and his commitment to maintaining the integrity of the sport.

Emphasizing the need for fair treatment, he made it clear that his intention was not to detract from Liverpool's celebrations, but to ensure a fair and competitive encounter at Wembley. "It's not about spoiling the fun," Pochettino clarified.

"We are here to win on our own merits. Although Liverpool may be saying goodbye to Klopp, our motivation is centered on our aspirations for success. We respect their path, but we must remain focused on ours." The timing of Pochettino's comments was strategic, coming at a time when tensions and emotions are running high.

By preventively solving this issue, he tried to mitigate any potential prejudices or external influences that could damage the integrity of the final.

Klopp wants the Carabao Cup

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool's charismatic manager, has said his "wonderful" story with the club is far from over by the end of this season.

While acknowledging the potential importance of adding another trophy to the cabinet, Klopp insists the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea carries more weight for the club than his personal legacy. With the Europa League round of 16 match against Sparta Prague coming up, Liverpool have a busy schedule.

However, Sunday's Carabao Cup final represents another key chapter in their continuing story. Although Klopp plays down the personal significance of potential silverware in what is believed to be his final season, he recognizes the opportunity to create a lasting farewell tour for the club and its fans.

"I want to win on Sunday, but not for me or my trophy case," said Klopp, underlining his unwavering commitment to the team. "It's for the boys, for the club and for the people. It's much more important, and everything will continue." He compared their journey to "writing a wonderful book", which is still ongoing.

"When I'm gone, we'll close that book," he explained. "We'll put it on the shelf, and then someone else will write another wonderful book. That's the idea." Klopp's unwavering commitment to giving his all shines through the words.

"I won't leave anything in there," he vowed. "I will give absolutely everything until the last second." This commitment, along with the team's desire to succeed, promises an exciting final chapter, regardless of the outcome on Sunday.

With strategic comments, Pochettino wanted to ensure a neutral refereeing team for the final, without possible biases related to Klopp's departure. While he acknowledges Liverpool's results and respects Klopp's legacy, he is focused on ensuring Chelsea win through a fair fight. The upcoming clash promises to be exciting, and we will see the result on Sunday.