Jurgen Klopp was offering a defence of Pep Guardiola, but it could equally have been a comment on his own troubled Anfield season.
“It is a big difference coming here, the most difficult league in the world.
“A lot of teams have a lot of money and a lot of teams have a lot of good players and that is the one thing which makes it really difficult to become champions in England.”
He was speaking before the 1-1 draw at Manchester City — a football spectacular that showed everything right about Klopp’s Liverpool team… but the weaknesses too that have undermined their 2016-17 campaign.
Already, there have been questions asked about the popular German manager barely 17 months into his Anfield reign, with many critics wondering if his Gagenpresse style is too demanding for the Premier League, and more asking if he has a Plan B.
Yet victory over derby rivals Everton at the weekend will establish them firmly on course for a Champions League place, and for many of his supporters, that is evidence enough the German coach is on track.
One of his biggest fans is Kop legend Ian Rush, and for the Welshman, too many critics have been blinded by the promise of a title challenge that petered out over the New Year period.
“People got carried away with the title when they were playing well,” he said after appearing at Anfield himself last weekend in a Legends game raising funds for the Liverpool Foundation. “It was always about the top four this season, that has always been the priority.
“I think if they can get a win against Everton then it’s still very much on to finish in the top four – and I think that will be a success this season if they can get it.
“People were disappointed, because they were challenging in December. Now they are not going to win a trophy, but they have to be realistic. Going from seventh to the top four was the aim this time around, and for me there is no better man than Jurgen Klopp to do that job.
Klopp speaks after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City
“It’s about steps. They’ve taken one this season even if it made some to get a bit carried away, and I do feel Jurgen is the man to take Liverpool to the next step of winning the title.”
The jury is still out ahead of the derby, with many wondering if Klopp has even been overshadowed slightly by the impressive against the odds success of Ronald Koeman at the club next door.
Victory for the Blues would put them just three points behind their rivals, and offer massive kudos.
Yet the feeling among most of the people who truly know the workings of Anfield is that the German is ahead of schedule, and should be given more time to establish his philosophy, and his own personnel.
Roy Evans was one of the many charged with the task of delivering that elusive title.
He knows how hard that is under the massive weight of historical expectation, and he even argued that missing out on the top four again would not be SO bad.
“I like what he says, I like what he does – he wants the fans to enjoy watching the game and the players to enjoy playing it, and for me, it’s an industry where entertainment is the main thing and the results follow,” he said.
“The fans have really taken to him, and that gives him a couple of years where they say ‘love what you’re doing. Of course it would be nice to get in the Champions League this season, but you have to be careful sometimes.
“Sometimes you can get in there too early and your team’s not really quite good enough. They’ve not been there much in the last seven years, and you want to make sure it doesn’t take over, because I still think the Premier League is the one thing we would love to win.”