Jurgen Klopp has told ESPN Brasil that he introduced an attacking, high-intensity style of football when he first arrived at Liverpool to help get the club out of an atmosphere that felt “like a depression.”
After replacing Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, Klopp’s first three seasons on Merseyside saw an entertaining Liverpool secure back-to-back top-four finishes and appearances in the finals of the Champions League, Europa League and League Cup.
However, with a more controlled Liverpool currently six points clear at the top of the Premier League, centre-back Dejan Lovren recently said the team had turned into genuine title contenders this campaign thanks to experience and excellent player recruitment.
“I heard what Dejan [Lovren] said, but I’m not 100 percent sure what he meant. But bringing in the right players or whatever and, of course, we had to develop. That’s what we do since I came in,” Klopp said in an exclusive interview at Melwood on Friday.
“First, because it felt a little bit like a depression here. I think it made sense to be extremely lively. Yes, to make mistakes, but be very lively, very direct, very energetic.
“It was not perfectly organised. In a few parts we were pretty quick with organisation, but it was only the offensive pressing pretty much. All the other departments we were a bit random, I would say.
“That, of course, improved a lot, so we are now working together with big parts of the squad for more than three years, which is brilliant. And all the other players which we picked, they adapted pretty well because of different reasons. One is only quality and the other thing is that they have played similar styles of football in the club they were in before.
“It was clear, we have to become more stable. That’s what we try to do. It was a big thing in the summer obviously and the boys did the job so far. That’s why we could get the results we could get.”
Klopp, who managed Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in the past, is known to have an extremely close bond with his players and has been keen to ensure there is strong harmony within the Liverpool dressing room.
But the German manager is quick to point out that the relationship with his squad goes beyond hugs at the end of matches, admitting he can lay down the law when required to.
“It’s unbelievably important,” he said. “But everybody has the opportunity to do that. That’s one of the reasons why I love the game so much.
“It’s so important to really stick together, to come close. It’s like a family, it’s more about each other. At the beginning we had a few problems, but you know he’s always on your side, he always wants to help you and stuff like that. Then you come closer and closer as a group.
“But if we have a training session and the boys are not spot on, I’m probably the loudest person in the world. It’s a waste of time. As long as we don’t waste time, we have no problem with a good atmosphere around the sessions, I have no problem with the good atmosphere in the sessions.
“But I expect 100 percent concentration because we train an hour and a half or whatever a day. These 90 minutes, let’s cut off all other things and try to use the information we give as good as possible.
“The general relationship we have is full of trust and faith — that’s true, from both sides. I trust the boys 100 percent and I hope they do the same.
“Between the games, it’s not that I’m always there and we constantly hug each other or whatever. That’s not like this. It’s always because of the game and because of the work and nothing personal.
“It’s both — friend and drill sergeant.”
Source : ESPN