With 95 appearances for Manchester City, a little over 200 appearances for Queens Park Rangers and 30 odd appearances for Sunderland, Nedum Onuoha is no stranger to Premier League football.
He is, however, not a household name either. Not by a long shot.
Very few City fans, let alone neutrals and other fans, remember the player for he wasn’t one of the flashy ones or a leader that led the team to greater heights.
Having been relegated and promoted with QPR, he was influential there but so were others.
So, people may be forgiven for asking “Onuoha who?”.
While we could expect these from fans, we would have thought that high-profile managers would be aware of these players, especially those who work at places like ESPN and interview these managers every now and then.
Onuoha, following in the footsteps of many before him like Neville and Henry, transitioned to a role of a football pundit after he hung his boots.
Retiring from the game, the Nigerian joined ESPN in 2020 and has been working there since, reporting on many games, including those of Premier League teams.
After Liverpool’s FA Cup game against Wolves at Anfield, Klopp was interviewed by Onuoha.
The game had ended in a dubious manner, with a questionable call ending in favour of the Kop, and a relieved Klopp turned up to an ESPN interview, where Onuoha asked the German about some tackles during the game.
In a classic error by Klopp, he replied, “In this moment, I’m not sure if you played football, but these kinds of things happen.”
This, to a man with over 200 games under his belt in English football.
This, to a man who has actually played more professional games than Jurgen himself.
To the former Man City player’s credit, he kept his cool then and carried on.
Later however, ESPN played clips of the player playing for City and even scoring against “a little team called Scunthorpe”, as a way of roasting the ill-informed Kop manager.
The panel discussing this makes light of the earlier situation and even asks Nedum, who had joined virtually if he has since given some thought as to what he could have replied instead of letting it go.
Nedum replied saying he might have said something if Klopp was in a good mood and given how this was his first time interviewing someone with such a high profile, he thought it would be better to let it pass than to “bite back”.
Kudos to Nedum for thinking quickly on his feet and letting it go but Klopp should be doing better here.
He has been aggressive against reporters before and yes, a manager’s job is stressful, but that is no reason to have bad behaviour.
We have seen this before.
A team performing well means Klopp is happy-go-lucky.
And when the team isn’t, all that anger is against reporters.
He isn’t the only one who does it of course. Pep, Mourinho, and even managers as legendary as Sir Alex and Wenger did it.
But I doubt any of these disrespected ex-players and reporters in the manner Klopp does.
Here’s another clip of Klopp, this time losing it against Roy Keane presenting for Sky Sports.
And just for that, we are happy that ESPN decided to mock him publicly.
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