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Garth Crooks slams Jurgen Klopp, Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte over “unpleasant” scenes

The Premier League season has been marred by the behaviour of some managers, with Klopp set for a touchline ban after being sent off during Liverpool’s win over Manchester City

Garth Crooks has slammed leading Premier League managers Jurgen Klopp, Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte for their behaviour towards referees.

Klopp was recently charged by the Football Association after screaming in the face of a linesman and being sent off during Liverpool’s win over Manchester City. The German is now set for a one-match touchline ban after accepting the FA’s charge.

In the aftermath of Klopp’s outburst, refereeing charity Ref Support UK called for an inquiry into the behaviour of top-flight bosses. And Crooks has added his backing to that demand, insisting that despite Klopp apologising, the damage had been done.

“After ugly scenes at several Premier League matches and I can’t say I’m the slightest bit surprised. Jurgen Klopp was sent off by Anthony Taylor amidst the red-hot atmosphere of Anfield last Saturday for an extraordinary verbal assault towards the referee’s assistant,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Klopp later apologised but the damage had been done. Millions of TV viewers had seen the incident and Taylor used the only means at his disposal and made his position clear by sending the Liverpool manager off.

“The referee handled the match brilliantly but why are managers increasingly allowing themselves to lose self-control but insist referees retain control of the fixture at all times?”

Klopp is far from the only culprit of having uncomfortable interactions with referees, with a range of incidents across the current campaign. And Crooks believes there needs to be a reset among some Premier League bosses about their attitude toward match officials.

“Mikel Arteta, Thomas Tuchel, Antonio Conte and Jesse Marsch have all been cautioned by officials already this season in scenes that can only be described as thoroughly unpleasant,” the former Tottenham star added.

“These men must be made to respect the traditions of the game and not allowed to hide behind the idea that they are the only ones who suffer frustrations, and that passions and emotions are not excuses to behave abominably on the touchline.

“The game is no more intense or passionate than it was in years gone by. The only significant change in the modern era is the amount of money attached to it. In order for the game to survive its integrity must be protected and that means the officials not being coerced or bullied by managers.”

Klopp accepted his punishment and is now waiting for confirmation that he will spend a game in the stands. He was on the sidelines for Saturday’s defeat to Nottingham Forest and has revealed that he is happy for matters to take their course.

“We just follow the process, the completely normal process. It’s a normal process, we are not now too used to it, but we have enough people who know how it goes. We did everything we had to do,” he said ahead of the trip to the City Ground.


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