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Old 09-11-20, 10:42 PM   #7881
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I’d be surprised if they didn’t try. Maybe Klopp wanted to go with his compatriots.
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Old 10-11-20, 12:16 PM   #7882
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A lot of people just hate Nike footwear
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Old 10-11-20, 01:55 PM   #7883
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A lot of people just hate Nike footwear
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Old 10-11-20, 02:14 PM   #7884
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Garbage footwear. Used to wear them in highschool back in the early 90s because they were the in thing. Every few years when I go to buy some new shoes I always try on a bunch and the nikes time and time again are rubbish. Mizuno runners my choice of shoes at the moment. They are godly.
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Old 10-11-20, 04:07 PM   #7885
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Nike footwear is crap, always seems to be funny sizing and poor materials. Adidas far superior and a better fit. Mind you, my parents were skint so as a kid I grew up wearing 'Woolworth's four stripe'... you couldn't even scratch those fuckers. Bombproof.
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Old 10-11-20, 04:42 PM   #7886
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Were those the velcro ones? Because thats all I had before those nikes, k-mart style velcros. No wonder I thought the nikes were good when I first got them.
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Old 10-11-20, 04:51 PM   #7887
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Peasants. It was Hi-Tek and Gola for me growing up, before I graduated on to Roos (anyone remember those?)
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Old 10-11-20, 04:56 PM   #7888
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I still like the odd pair of Gola from time to time and Dunlop Green Flash
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Old 10-11-20, 04:59 PM   #7889
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Nike footwear is crap, always seems to be funny sizing and poor materials. Adidas far superior and a better fit. Mind you, my parents were skint so as a kid I grew up wearing 'Woolworth's four stripe'... you couldn't even scratch those fuckers. Bombproof.
Woolworths four stripe? - Luxury. We had to wear pieces of cut up car tyres cable tied to our feet.
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Old 10-11-20, 06:35 PM   #7890
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I find nike a bit wider on the foot. I wear their cheapish running shoes just generally. Last pair lasted about 9 months of continuous use before the soles wore down. Not too bad for £65.

My feet are crap and blister in about 30 paces if anything rubs. Adidas are especially awful for me.
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Old 10-11-20, 06:50 PM   #7891
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Woolworths four stripe? - Luxury. We had to wear pieces of cut up car tyres cable tied to our feet.

Pieces of cut up car tyres? - Luxury. We had to wear sun-dried roadkill tied up with badger intestines.
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Old 10-11-20, 08:37 PM   #7892
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Peasants. It was Hi-Tek and Gola for me growing up, before I graduated on to Roos (anyone remember those?)

Gola, that takes me back
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Old 10-11-20, 09:53 PM   #7893
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Don't think klopp got the credit he deserved on Saturday. His and his staffs decision to play 4-4-2 and use bobby defensively to block the space in between the city CBs and Rodri was a great tactic.

You could see the city backs get frustrated with going side to side and when they did Jota and Mane did a decent job blocking the vertical ball up the flanks.

The team wasn't as clinical as they can be otherwise LFC would have deservedly won.
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Old 10-11-20, 10:01 PM   #7894
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Roos. Fuckin hell, yeah. Can’t remember what they looked like tho.
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Old 11-11-20, 12:16 PM   #7895
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Jeez the nostalgia of Diadora, Goal, Hi-Tek, Lotto and Fila
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Old 11-11-20, 01:52 PM   #7896
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Jeez the nostalgia of Diadora, Goal, Hi-Tek, Lotto and Fila
...dont forget Pony when the NFL rode into town in the late eighties/early nineties. Pony trainers... 'does exactly what it says on the tin'. They were proper shit.

Last edited by Tribute; 11-11-20 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 11-11-20, 02:17 PM   #7897
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Jeez the nostalgia of Diadora, Goal, Hi-Tek, Lotto and Fila
I got some Lotto boots in about 1988/89 ish and I was the absolute envy of all the lads in my team. I'd had Patrick Dalglish Silver before and Lotto seemed like an absolute luxury, the gold standard! Gullit and van Basten wore them I think.
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Old 11-11-20, 02:57 PM   #7898
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Old 11-11-20, 04:30 PM   #7899
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Jurgen on the M6 heading down to England's training ground to smash Southgates cunt in
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Old 11-11-20, 11:44 PM   #7900
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I had a pair of Patrick trainers bought from an advert in match magazine, mail order.
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Old 12-11-20, 02:19 AM   #7901
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Fair enough.

I know fuck all about marketing but given how high profile Klopp is, it seems a strange oversight on Nike's part.
I think I read something about this a while back - Klopp already had an existing manager kit deal with Adidas which apparently isn't that uncommon (I think the article may have mentioned Mourinho having something similar?), but with the Nike kit deal Adidas extended it to footwear as well

Can't find the article so there is a chance I imagined this whole thing in a whisky fever dream
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Old 13-11-20, 10:07 AM   #7902
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Had some Puma G Vilas......gutted when I left them on the bus after games
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Old 14-11-20, 04:36 PM   #7903
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Got nothing to do with no football on to watch? Feeling a bit bored?

Why not spend a couple of hours reading a mammoth article from the Athletic.




What is it like to play for Jurgen Klopp?



Jurgen Klopp cherishes the training ground. It is the basis, he thinks, for everything that happens at whichever club he manages; the place where players come to understand what he expects physically, tactically and emotionally. “If a player does not train well, he doesn’t last long in a Klopp team,” a Melwood source tells The Athletic. “In fact, he’s got no chance…”

Behind the hugs and the megawatt smile, Klopp places huge demands on his players. The rewards are great but so are the sacrifices. If they are granted the luxury of a day off in the week then there is often a double session waiting for them soon after.

“We train the way we play,” is Klopp’s mantra. Assistant boss Pep Lijnders plans each session and goes over it with Klopp in the manager’s office each morning. When out on the grass, Klopp is not shy to intervene when something catches his eye or he senses that standards are not sky-high.

“I’ve worked under a lot of managers and coaches in my career and his training sessions are more intense than under anyone else I’ve known,” says vice-captain James Milner. “There’s never a single session where a player can switch off and just go through the session as if they’re on autopilot. He’s a great manager. The best I’ve played under? Yes, I’d say so.”

Adam Lallana, who spent five years under Klopp before leaving for Brighton at the end of last season, confirms: “It’s very intense. When you hear people say they dedicate their lives to the football club, that literally is the case. There’s a lot of sacrifice to playing for that football club but it’s worth every moment.”

In his book Ask A Footballer, Milner talks about the countless hours of drills that go into perfecting Liverpool’s pressing game. “Training is really hard and it’s complicated,” he says. “When we press as a team and we do it so effectively, we’re not running around like a load of headless chickens. It’s the result of a very specific game plan that we’ve been working on for years.”

Klopp is a big believer in scheduling training sessions around the upcoming kick-off time. Previously, players had been used to training in the morning regardless and then having the afternoon to themselves.

“Where before you could switch off more knowing that you had everything done by lunchtime, it’s more relentless under Jurgen,” one of his former players tells The Athletic.

“You might not be training until 5pm but you’re sat at home in the morning thinking about what’s ahead. You probably get in for lunchtime to do some work in the gym, have some lunch and maybe video analysis before training. We definitely spent a lot more time at Melwood than before.”

Georginio Wijnaldum Jurgen Klopp Liverpool
Wijnaldum says Klopp immediately made him feel special (Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Team meetings always take place before the sessions. The day before a game it is usually crystal clear what the starting XI will be as Klopp plays 11 v 11. The shadow line-up is set up tactically in the same way as Klopp and his staff expect their upcoming opponents to play.

“It’s broken down into how the opponents attack, how they defend, how they react in transition and so on,” adds Milner. “The manager will go into details about those weaknesses and how we’re going to exploit them. And then their strengths and how we’re going to guard against them. If they’ve got a weakness at left-back or if they’re vulnerable to a certain kind of cross, then we work on that.”

Players will also be emailed specific clips to watch before each game to reinforce the points Klopp was making.

“Jurgen never overburdens you with information,” says Trent Alexander-Arnold. “It’s not so much that he tells you exactly what to do on the ball and says you need to pass to here and here. It’s more about giving you the ideas and helping you see the opportunities to play it in behind when Mo (Salah) runs in behind. Or when Bobby (Firmino) comes to feet, finding that pass instead, maybe.

“He’s done so much for me personally. His advice has always been top-notch for me. When you need a bollocking, he’ll give you one. He’s not scared of doing it. But most of the time it’s arm around the shoulder, wanting to help you improve.”

Georginio Wijnaldum agrees. “The mind is free, and that is the most important thing,” he says. “The manager does not overload the players with information. Every game is different because opponents have different qualities and different threats, but the consistent element to our approach is we do not man-mark. It would be difficult to counter-press if we man-marked. This means we mark spaces.

“There’s a sharp focus on set plays the day before a game both in terms of attacking and defending. There’s also light relief with the traditional older players versus younger players match, with the results totted up over the course of the season.”

If Liverpool are playing in the evening, then Klopp holds a light session on the morning of the match to run through the game plan. When Liverpool are playing away, that often means booking a lower-league ground to use.

Klopp has changed his approach over time. He is the boss and always makes the final call but he welcomes feedback from the senior players’ committee, led by captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captain Milner on things such as travel plans.

Days off have become more frequent in recent seasons when the schedule allows and he has also permitted recovery days to take place away from the training ground at times, with physios sent to players’ homes.

One gesture meant a great deal to the squad after Liverpool won the Club World Cup in Qatar last year. Usually, they would have stayed in a hotel on Christmas Day before facing Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.

But with the players having already spent a week away, Klopp decided they could sleep in their own homes and assemble on Boxing Day morning to fly down to Leicester. He also brought forward training on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so they could spend more quality time with their families. It underlined his trust in them and he was rewarded with arguably Liverpool’s finest display of the season as they thrashed Brendan Rodgers’ side 4-0.

What hasn’t changed during Klopp’s reign is how brutal pre-season is. “Even the manager’s demeanour changes. He puts on his game face,” writes Andy Robertson in his book Now You’re Gonna Believe Us, referring to the summer training camps in Evian, France.

Klopp describes those camps as “my time”, without the distractions that come with the commercial commitments of the overseas tours. It is about creating a base for the challenges ahead. Even when there is a friendly in the evening, he will put players through an energy-sapping session earlier the same day.

Robertson says: “I think sometimes the manager tests us in at least one game pre-season where he basically says: ‘If you can play through this, you can play through anything.’

“You play with an empty tank, you play with the tired legs, you play with a tired mind and then during the season over the Christmas period where we have maybe six games in 14 days or whatever, that’s not a massive problem because it’s not as bad as what we did during the summer.”

Klopp’s attention to detail is such that he is always looking for an edge over his opponents. The players did not know what to expect when the manager informed them that they had a session in the Hotel Royal pool with German surfer Sebastian Steudtner in Evian in the summer of 2019.

Jurgen Klopp Andy Robertson Jordan Henderson liverpool
Klopp shares a joke with Robertson and Henderson and has revolutionised Liverpool’s training (Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Steudtner explained that he was there to help with breathing techniques and mental durability and how putting yourself into extreme situations triggers new coping mechanisms. Taking on board his methods, the players all improved how long they could stay underwater — some managed nearly three minutes.

“Never mind marginal gains, this was significant pain,” wrote Robertson. “He made us suffer. He made us crave oxygen like we’d never craved it before. But by taking us to the brink he also underlined how much we had to give and how far we could go. The gaffer wanted us to be able to find a happy place under stress. We all got it and bought into it.”

The players felt that experiences such as those helped them dig deep during the 2019-20 title-winning season when late goals and gutsy fightbacks sealed cherished victories.

Whether it is the appointment of nutritionist Mona Nemmer, throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark or sports psychologist Lee Richardson, Klopp is an innovator, a coach who is unafraid of surrounding himself with staff who know more than him. “This shows you his humility,” Wijnaldum says. “At Liverpool, it never feels like we are lacking something.”

Klopp once asked his Borussia Dortmund players to put their name to “a promise” containing seven rules. They agreed to “unconditional dedication”, “passionate devotion”, “a determination (to win), independent of the scoreline” and a readiness “to support everybody”, “accept help”, “put (their) quality wholly at the service of the team” and “take on individual responsibility”.

There was to be no distinction between work and play, pain and pleasure: self-sacrificial toiling could be a sensual experience. Klopp, feverishly saluting won tackles and clearances on the sidelines, was the physical manifestation of his teachings.

“He said things like, ‘I’m looking forward to this game with every fibre in my body’ and it was so believable that one second later, you felt the same,” recalls the Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender. “We learned to be completely in the moment, to think only from game to game.”

The idea that big targets had to be clearly expressed to be achieved was dismissed as counter-productive. “Whoever says that has no idea,” the coach explained. Klopp set his men immediate, achievable goals. They had to win the next game. “A slalom skier would never throw his hands up in the air in celebration after clearing the first gate, would he?” he asked.

Table tennis tournaments, karaoke, go-karting and paintballing have all been used to foster the kind of unity and spirit that Klopp regards as pivotal to achieving glory. He demands unwavering commitment but in return, he guarantees honesty, loyalty and openness. He never passes the buck. “The way I understand it, I’m responsible for the defeats, the boys are responsible for the wins,” Klopp says.

Jurgen Klopp Sven Bender Borussia Dortmund
Bender loved working with Klopp at Dortmund (Photo: sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)
Whereas some managers try to put distance between them and their players, Klopp’s door is always open. He believes it’s impossible to get the best out of someone unless you know all about what’s going in their life.

Wijnaldum adds: “A friend, but not a best friend; that is the easiest way to describe him. He really cares about the welfare of a player and wants to know you away from football. His memory is very long as well. One of my first goals as a professional footballer came for Feyenoord against Borussia Dortmund during a friendly match in Rotterdam 10 years ago.

“Jurgen told me it was his first season as a trainer at Dortmund. This was the thing we spoke about when I came to sign for Liverpool. He remembered me from that day and had followed my career ever since. He could describe the goal — who passed to me — every detail. It showed me that this guy is really serious.

“When I met with Jurgen, we had a good conversation, not just about my football but my life away from football as well. It was clear he wanted to sign the person as well as the football player. This was important for me because these conversations do not always happen between manager and player. Jurgen is a manager that wants to have a connection with the players.”

Ralph Gunesch played for Klopp at Mainz and he is now a youth team assistant manager at Ingolstadt. He saw Klopp as being totally different from the traditional German coach. “Some of the older ones acted like warrior generals sitting on a chariot, with the team pulling them along. With Klopp, it’s a different dynamic,” Gunesch tells The Athletic. “He doesn’t put himself above anyone but he leads from the front. And those who don’t pull their weight or want to go in a different direction will have a huge problem. He used to say: ‘It’s not necessary to have the perfect game plan but we all need to have the same game plan.’”

Liverpool’s players respect Klopp. They fear his temper but they know he is otherwise approachable. Everything is left on the pitch. If he is unhappy about something, he does not carry his mood throughout the rest of the working day. Players know that once a training session or a game is over, life goes on.

Around the time Dejan Lovren was dealing with some personal matters in 2016, he had trained badly — so badly that Klopp could tell something was up. The Croatian defender remained in Klopp’s office at Melwood for hours after the rest of the players had gone home and from that point on, he always knew Klopp had his back.

Klopp is hands-on. During the close season and international breaks, he remains in close contact with his players. He wants to know everything that is happening.

“I tend to text him to say ‘session done’. He normally replies with a thumbs-up emoji,” says Milner. “One time he messaged me back with a picture of him in a hot tub. He’s extremely driven and serious about his work. You know where you stand with him. If you’ve got an opinion or a concern about something, you can speak to him and he’ll listen.”

With Klopp, there is always a sense of perspective. Family always comes first. When Robertson’s partner Rachel was rushed to hospital with chest pains before last season’s Premier League clash away to Tottenham Hotspur, Klopp was more concerned about her well-being than who would play left-back in the capital.

He agreed with the Scotland skipper that he would be withdrawn from the squad if her condition worsened and Klopp made it clear that the club would have a private plane on standby ready to fly him back north immediately. Thankfully, her condition improved, Robertson played and Liverpool won.

After Liverpool triumphed away to Norwich City in February, they were preparing to fly home when the pilot warned that due to high winds it was likely to be an unpleasant, bumpy journey. There was a significant degree of concern. Klopp stood up to make it clear that he would never force anyone to fly and that nobody would be judged if they decided to get off. Several players and staff opted for the five-hour drive instead.

Similarly, the players appreciated how he stuck to his guns amid criticism after Liverpool’s FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury Town was scheduled within the Premier League winter break. Klopp refused to backtrack after promising his star names the week off. Many had already made holiday plans.

Klopp can also be ruthless when he needs to be. Anyone who does not stick to the rules is shown the door. Just ask Mamadou Sakho, who did not play for Liverpool again after being sent home from the pre-season tour of America in disgrace in 2016.

Sakho was late for the team flight to California, late for a team meal and missed a treatment session. It was Klopp’s first pre-season at Liverpool and he felt he could not allow such indiscipline to go unpunished. A marker had been put down.

“We have rules and we have to respect them. If somebody doesn’t respect it or somebody gives me the feeling he is not respecting it then I have to react,” Klopp said.

Over the course of his Anfield reign, Klopp has invited players’ families along on various European away trips and mid-season training camps. “He always wanted to make sure that the families were happy at Liverpool,” says former Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique. “If they’re happy, then the players can focus more on football. If things aren’t right at home, you can see it out on the pitch.”

Klopp’s leadership skills were also there for all to see when football was suspended due to the pandemic in March with Liverpool on the cusp of ending their 30-year wait for the title. Players and staff had been called to a 1pm meeting in the Melwood canteen.

“You guys have earned this and you will get your chance,” Klopp told them. “Don’t worry about football for now. You are the best team in England and the most worthy champions there has ever been.”

Klopp vowed that the club would provide an extensive support network during the shutdown and a WhatsApp group would be set up for them to share any concerns or issues. He told them to switch off from football and enjoy the time with their families.

It is telling how even those who have been cast aside rarely have a bad word to say about Klopp. Loris Karius may have been replaced by Alisson after his Champions League final nightmare against Real Madrid but he always appreciated how Klopp defended him in the aftermath of Kyiv. Klopp was determined that the details of the concussion inflicted on Karius by Sergio Ramos’ elbow would be made public: “We don’t use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation.”

After being sent on loan to Union Berlin this summer, Karius was asked about his relationship with Klopp. He said: “It was always fair and honest. He always tells you what the situation is like.”

Klopp was reduced to tears as he went around hugging his players in turn on the night that Liverpool celebrated winning the title following Chelsea’s win over nearest rivals Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp James Milner
Milner says Klopp he is the best manager he has played for (Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
The 53-year-old had insisted that they all met up at Formby Hall to watch the game after Liverpool’s victory over Crystal Palace had put them on the brink of history.

He had told them: “I’ve been in this game long enough to know that tonight is going to be compulsory because if it does happen, it’s not the same if we all FaceTime each other. We have to be together. We meet at 6pm and let’s hope it goes well into the night. If it doesn’t, we go home and we’ve had a nice barbecue.”

Klopp has a remarkable knack of being able to make those on the fringes of the squad feel as if they are part of something special. In the dressing room at Anfield after Liverpool beat Chelsea on the night they lifted the Premier League trophy in July, an emotional Klopp turned to salute his fourth-choice goalkeeper.

“Andy Lonergan, champion of England, champion of Europe, champion of the world. What a guy!” he beamed. The players responded by chanting the name of someone who had not made a single appearance all season.

Klopp ensured that every member of the squad got a medal, regardless of whether they met the usual criteria. Lallana says: “Over the last couple of years in my spell at Liverpool, I didn’t play so much. Of course, at times you’re frustrated, but he has the ability to just like that, have you back fighting for not just the team, but for him.”

Simon Mignolet, who left in 2019 to sign for Club Brugge, adds: “Everyone lived that moment when we won the Champions League final in Madrid. With the bond in the squad, we all felt part of it — even those, like me, who didn’t play much. I still keep in touch. Jurgen messaged me to say congratulations after we qualified for the group stages of the Champions League.”

Under Klopp, there is a pecking order in the dressing room. Everyone is treated the same. “Jurgen is a true leader. He’s inspirational and motivational,” says Lijnders.

“There is a saying that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And I think everyone who works with Jurgen has the feeling he really cares about you and your development.

“When Jurgen speaks to the players, he speaks from the heart and it goes directly into the hearts of the players. He has this remarkable capacity to touch people with the words he selects. That’s not easy, especially with this level of players.

“You are dealing with a lot of egos in football but in our club, it looks like there are no egos. Jurgen has created an environment which everyone has bought into. He solves problems before they arise. He has this capacity of making sure that certain things won’t happen because he speaks about them. The level of respect the players have for him is huge.

“The character of the coach becomes the character of the team. You can see it throughout the club. That’s the power of Jurgen’s personality.”

Klopp’s modest playing career with Mainz meant he was used to dealing with the emotions that accompany defeat. When he was younger, he had let disappointments get to him, but then he found that too much dwelling had the potential to impact on future performances. While his understanding of the game gradually allowed him to pinpoint where things had gone wrong, his protestant faith helped him to become more pragmatic in his assessments. He learned to accept setbacks as fact of life, to appreciate why they have happened, and then move on.

Gunesch, one of his former players at Mainz, feels fortunate to have worked with three “excellent” coaches in his own career. Besides Klopp, there was Holger Stanislawski and Ralph Hasenhuttl and each he describes as “incredibly empathetic”.

There is one line he always remembers from Klopp, who told him: “Don’t let a defeat punish you twice. Don’t dwell on it, don’t take that negative feeling with you into the next game.” Within the framework of one match, Klopp’s instruction was clear. “If you’ve been shit in a certain situation, don’t let that drag you down. Otherwise, you’ll be shit the next time as well. Stay positive.”

Klopp does not punish bad moments but he expects his players to follow his ideas — otherwise, they are out. “I remember one player, Markus Feulner, getting substituted early in a friendly game because he didn’t behave in transition as Klopp wanted,” Gunesch says. “He is very in tune with his players. He wants to understand their thoughts and what makes them tick. He’s incredibly open and approachable. I remember my father being impressed with him being so polite and easy-going when he met him after a game once.

“These things have an effect on you as a player. You don’t have to pay attention to players’ needs to that extent as a coach but those who do and show that they really care about you will get the extra mile out of players. Players will try that little bit harder for you if they feel appreciated and valued as human beings.”

Wijnaldum became Klopp’s first major midfield signing and has been integral to the development of the team. He says Klopp’s “greatest strength” is to read a situation and react in the “best way”.

“When I made the mistake against Bournemouth (passing the ball backwards, allowing Joshua King to score in 2017) in the locker room at half-time, he said, ‘Hey, it’s over. We cannot change this. Let’s just focus on the things we can do to change the game for the better’. He will only be mad if you do not use your quality or you do not try 100 per cent. When this happens, he will say things to you. Otherwise, he is always trying to help. As a player, he makes you feel as though he has your back.”

Klopp’s win percentage as a manager has jumped each time he has taken on a new managerial role. At Mainz, he won 40.6 per cent of his games in charge, losing 83 times across 270 matches. At Dortmund, his win percentage increased to 56 per cent, with just 70 defeats in 316 matches. His Liverpool career to date has included 279 matches, 170 wins, 63 draws and 46 defeats. This amounts to his highest win percentage of 60.9.

Klopp’s average win percentage (52.7) across his entire managerial career is much lower than any of his contemporaries, with Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte boasting better records. Yet Klopp’s path has been different in the sense that he has managed only three clubs and sticks around longer.

His arrival point in each job has been at a moment of either crisis or gross underachievement and this means it has taken more time and patience to get things right, with some of his earliest results indifferent.

At his Liverpool unveiling, Klopp famously talked openly about the club “carrying a rucksack on its shoulders”, such was the weight of history. He knew one of his greatest challenges was managing the mood not only of the team and the club, but also the city. This meant his ability to treat disappointment as equally as any success was going to be important, especially in the early years. Klopp anticipated there would be setbacks along the way and it would be at these points that his message and direction to the players had to be at its clearest. There were also occasions when he trusted the intelligence of his players to realise how far they had come, that there was very little he could say to make things better.

The Champions League final defeat in Kyiv to Real Madrid was one such occasion, after which he kept his immediate post-match debrief short. He reminded the squad that he was proud of them, that everything that could have gone wrong went wrong that night and in such circumstances, it was going to be almost impossible for Liverpool to win. He was deflated but the players believed him when he told them that this would not be their last final together — that the hurt from Kyiv would push them further next time.

When the team arrived back at Melwood at 6am, he reminded the players over drinks: “This is the start, not the end of something. It’s only another step. Life is like this. We only can exist if everything works perfectly, then we cannot survive in that world out there. We have to accept sometimes that there is someone better, there is someone else with a little bit more luck. I accepted it long ago. I know I will be there again. I will try to go to the next final again and then we will turn it. That’s how I see it.”

On the day of the final in Kyiv, he had helped diffuse the anxiety in the room before facing Cristiano Ronaldo’s side. “There were a lot of nerves but he started his meeting by showing us that he was wearing some CR7 boxer shorts,” recalls Milner. “He had even tucked his shirt into them. We all cracked up and the laughter got rid of all the tension that was threatening to build up. With our manager, what you see is what you get.”

Twelve months later, Liverpool delivered a brutal performance in Madrid against Tottenham. Klopp had told them the team that makes the fewest mistakes and reacts in the most positive way to injustices whenever they happened would prevail and he was proven right.

The pressure of playing for Liverpool, he recognised, was even greater than Borussia Dortmund. Liverpool’s history was deeper and the length of time between the last title and his point of arrival was longer. There had been just six years at Dortmund and a quarter of a century at Liverpool, where the build-up of frustration was reaching fatalistic levels. It was important for his players not to read too much into things when results went against them and he would try and guide the squad through such moments. Yet he also knew it was important for the players to think they were capable of dealing with their own anxieties.

Privately, he has told friends that he believes a turning point was at Manchester City where Liverpool won in the Champions League quarter-final in 2018 despite a first-half bombardment where City’s domination made it feel possible that they might overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit. If Liverpool lost from this position of promise, then the team’s sense of new strength following the arrival of Virgil van Dijk would be questioned, and with good reason.

Normally, Klopp leads the half-time discussion by rushing into the dressing room from his position in the technical area before telling the club’s match analysts what video he wants to use as he waits for the players. This time, he realised a heated inquest was happening as they came through the door and this one was being led by Lovren. He sat and listened, allowed Lovren to say his piece and this led to a disagreement of opinion between the defence and the midfield. The midfielders said the defence was dropping too deep as the defence argued the midfielders were not pressing high enough, leaving the back line with no other option.

The confrontation allowed Klopp to point out that either one or two departments in the team were not doing what he had asked them to do and that the whole team needed to remember what they had done to City twice already that season. Above all, he told his team, they should not think about containing City but getting the goals that would secure their passage to the last four.

“He was only thinking about winning the game,” a dressing room source tells The Athletic. “If we went out that night, it would have been a big psychological blow. But by letting the players speak their minds and getting everything out in the open, it showed he trusted them to put it right themselves. And they did.”

He had dealt with a surprise 3-0 defeat at Watford in 2015 by insisting the Christmas Party went ahead that night, with none of the players allowed to leave until 1am, even though they were expecting the event to be cancelled. “Whatever we do together, we do as well as we can, and tonight that means we party,” read a text sent out to the whole squad and staff.

Six months later, there was the misery of Basle where Liverpool were comprehensively beaten by Sevilla in the Europa League final. This prompted him to give a rousing speech back at the team hotel, something he found hard because his own morale was low. He finished the speech by with a rendition of “We are Liverpool”.

Jurgen Klopp Premier League title
(Photo: Paul Ellis/PA Images via Getty Images)
The most recent bump in the road was at Aston Villa where he said little straight after the game and decided to formulate his words via a text message, sent to the entire squad as they jetted off on international duty. It was the worst result of his Liverpool reign and so much had gone wrong, he decided he needed time to work out exactly how his team could have been so incomprehensibly bad. His players had done so much for him and had rarely strayed from his direction over the years, he decided it would have been unfair to batter them for this — especially not in person.

He remembered what he had told the Mainz players including Gunesch all those years earlier. “Don’t let this punish you more than once.”

Klopp cuts an animated figure on the touchline, whether it’s barking orders, throwing fist pumps at the sight of a possession-winning tackle or castigating the officials. However, when he gets into the dressing room at half-time, it’s a different story.

“He never comes in shouting and bawling,” says Robertson. “It’s always very tactical and if we’re not doing well he shows us two or three clips from the first half and talks about how he wants us to approach the second half.”

“It tends to be calm when we first reach the dressing room. He spends the first few minutes of half-time in deep discussion with his coaching staff,” adds Milner. “A lot of what he says to us will be about videos that the analysts have prepared. It might be to tell the defence, ‘You’re not high enough, move up to here’. He’s very clear in the way he communicates with us.”

Only rarely does Klopp lose his temper with his players during the break. He was unhappy when they were trailing at Aston Villa 12 months ago and asked whether the team were afraid of getting their white kit dirty. Two late goals transformed a potentially damaging defeat into one of the most celebrated wins of the season.

Post-game, Klopp usually only speaks to the players briefly. He saves his in-depth assessment for the following day when emotions are not running so high and he’s had the chance to watch the full game back. Before the game, it is different again. This is where he sees an opportunity to tune into the minds of the players by bringing focus. His use of language is important and he tries to find memorable ways of saying things so that players do not forget what he wants.

“His punchlines are perfect,” says Hans Joachim Watzke, the chief executive at Dortmund. “Jurgen is never monotonous or predictable. That keeps everybody’s concentration.”

“With every game, Klopp’s team talks got clearer, louder and more precise,” says Bender. “He explained that we were in charge now; it was all down to us. We hardly needed any motivation but his speeches were the icing on the cake. We went out and ran even more.”

Before Liverpool’s 4-0 comeback victory over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg in 2019, Klopp knew he had to say something special.

“The world outside is saying it is not possible,” he told them. “And let’s be honest, it’s probably impossible. But because it’s you? Because it’s you, we have a chance.”

“Before the game, he did an amazing speech,” recalls Lovren. “It was brilliant, and he lifted us so high. He said, ‘Boys, believe. One or two goals, even if we don’t score in the first 15, 20 minutes, believe in the 65th, 66th, 67th minute that we can score, and then with Anfield behind us, trust me guys, we can do it. We did it once against Dortmund, we can do it tonight. Just show fucking balls tonight.’”

Henderson says: “The players could see that the manager believed, which helped us believe in what he said. The manager has ingrained that belief into us: no matter what happens you keep fighting right to the end.”

Another speech that left a lasting impression with his players was delivered at the Hotel Royal in Evian before the start of the 2019-20 season.

Klopp was keen to focus minds and draw a line under all the fanfare that had followed the club’s Champions League final triumph in Madrid.

“In 20, 30, 40 years from now, everyone will know that we were Champions League winners in 2019,” he told them. “That is in the record books and nobody can take that away from us. In Madrid, we made it six times for this wonderful club and that is a fantastic achievement but now we want more.

“We want to be Premier League winners for the first time, we want to be European Cup winners for the seventh time. As a group, we want to keep on winning.”

Robertson was captivated. “It’s no exaggeration to say the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up as he spoke,” he says. “I don’t think I’ve come across many people in any walk of life who are better able not just to sense the mood but to take advantage of it.

“For the gaffer, it wasn’t about taking the memories away from us, it was about keeping them with us and using them for inspiration going forward. Basically, he was creating a hunger in us to become serial winners. The other message was that we were going to need to stick together more than ever and that we had to have that kind of unity, which means that if you cut one of us, we all bleed.”

This season Klopp has talked about “attacking the title rather than defending it”. Robertson says this message has helped foster positive energy. “It’s brilliant psychology,” he says, “because it establishes a new target to go at rather than making us fear that we have something to lose.”

(Main graphic by Tom Slator for The Athletic. Photos: Getty Images)
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Old 14-11-20, 05:14 PM   #7904
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Fucks sake. Thought he was injured as well then
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Old 14-11-20, 05:53 PM   #7905
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Fucks sake. Thought he was injured as well then
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Old 14-11-20, 05:56 PM   #7906
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Haha
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Old 14-11-20, 07:45 PM   #7907
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Fucks sake. Thought he was injured as well then
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Old 14-11-20, 08:57 PM   #7908
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Fucks sake. Thought he was injured as well then

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Old 14-11-20, 10:16 PM   #7909
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Woolworths four stripe? - Luxury. We had to wear pieces of cut up car tyres cable tied to our feet.
I was waiting for it lol
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Old 14-11-20, 11:11 PM   #7910
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Fucks sake. Thought he was injured as well then
Or caught Coronavirus lol
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Old 19-11-20, 09:42 PM   #7911
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Wasn't sure where to put this so here will do.

I would love to see him manage us one day, assuming he turns out as good as well think/hope he might.

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Old 20-11-20, 08:06 AM   #7912
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Sorry about the source but a decent interview nonetheless

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Old 20-11-20, 09:04 AM   #7913
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'Sorry to say this, but at the moment I couldn't care less about the title!': Jurgen Klopp opens up to Jamie Redknapp on Liverpool's injury crisis, why five subs are desperately needed... and how he isn't thinking about retaining the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp is here to talk facts. Not about another manager, like Rafa Benitez in 2009. But about the Premier League, the ridiculous schedule and the ramifications.

To talk about the fact that Joe Gomez has had surgery on his knee, a victim of a ferociously intense schedule. To talk about how television broadcasters need to use their brains, and why the PFA are letting players down in the three-versus-five substitutions debate.

There are times when Klopp flashes his trademark smile as he sits at the club’s new Kirkby training centre. But November has not been kind to Liverpool’s manager. On the 11th, news reached him of Gomez’s injury. On the 13th came Mohamed Salah’s positive coronavirus test. On the 15th, Jordan Henderson was forced off at half-time for England against Belgium.

Klopp now has a few things he would like to get off his chest, and he sat down with Sportsmail’s Jamie Redknapp to do that. Sportsmail's Kieran Gill listened in.

JURGEN KLOPP: I’m not a big fan of international breaks. You could ask my missus how I look. It’s just a really nervy time. For us, it was not a successful break. We lost players.

JAMIE REDKNAPP: I felt heart-broken for Gomez with his knee injury. I know all too well the pain he is feeling. What is it like to be a manager and receive that phone call?

KLOPP: My English is not good enough to describe exactly what went through my mind. My head physio told me and everybody was sure it was serious immediately. No doubts. No hope it was only a little one. Injuries are part of the deal for players and managers. How they happen is something we are constantly worried about.

With the Virgil van Dijk situation, it was not because of the intensity of the game. It was because of a very strange decision by one person (Jordan Pickford) which made it hard to deal with. With Joey, it was absolutely because of the intensity of the season. That’s something we have to worry about. That’s not an excuse. That’s just an explanation.

REDKNAPP: What would your solution be? Five substitutions?

KLOPP: We fought hard for a winter break in the normal season. One week after the season’s most intense period. One week where you don’t have to think about football, don’t have to train, don’t have to get up in the morning and think, ‘How will I play tonight?’ We fought so hard for one week less.

But this now is not a normal season. This now is a season which is four weeks shorter but with the same amount of games. This is a very special time, not only for football but for the whole world. All of us have to dig in and fight hard to get through it. In football, it’s like this. It looks like the whole world changed but the two things which stayed were the fixture list of the Premier League and three subs.

These are the two things we have to talk about. We have to talk to the broadcasters. People need to understand football players. People say: ‘Oh, but they earn this much.’ It’s not about that. They earn that much because they are so special.

There are actors who are brilliant but will never be James Bond. But as a James Bond, you earn more than others. With football, it’s the same. So many people play football and the best of them earn more. But that doesn’t make them more robust for everything in life. On Wednesday we had a meeting between all of the managers and it was so important.

REDKNAPP: Did it go well?

KLOPP: Yes. Before the season, some people thought it would be an advantage for us, the people who said we should stick to five substitutions. But it was never — and I can promise you this, I’m a Christian — it was not for one second about having an advantage. All the other countries did it. Italy — Juventus, Inter Milan, they have the biggest squads, but still the other clubs said, ‘We need five subs.’

Yesterday six managers changed their minds. We need it. For the players, not the clubs. December and January in a normal season is brutal. We know that. But this year, for the Champions League and Europa League clubs, October is like December. November is like December. December is still December, then January, then February.

We all agree we want to play, 100 per cent. But it’s little adjustments. We have to vote this afternoon, pretty much. Let’s bring us all together and vote. We need to get the broadcasters round the table. Sky, BT, whoever — they have to talk to us.

Whatever happened before, whatever contracts were signed before, they were signed for a non-Covid period. Wednesday night and Saturday 12.30pm, this should not be possible.

Sports science says you need at least 72 hours to recover. We play before breakfast pretty much when the mind is coming back from whichever country in the world we have been in.

REDKNAPP: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke out about Manchester United’s schedule. Now you are agreeing with him as an opposing manager. A United and Liverpool manager in agreement!

KLOPP: It’s not about me. It’s not about Liverpool. It’s about player welfare. Nothing else. The problem is if you ask the players, they say, ‘I’m fine!’ Because players — and you were one yourself — always want to play. Always. Until they are injured. They are not the best source.

The PFA should not ask the players, ‘What do you think?’ It’s common sense. The LMA don’t have to ask the managers what we think because the problem is clear. Make the decision. Five or three? The best solution is five. Do it.

If you have two clubs playing in the Champions League on a Wednesday, then they are not in contention for the Saturday 12.30pm. But it’s, ‘Ah, there’s a contract, we need a shareholders meeting’. Why, for such an easy solution? No. We just have to sit together once and do it.

I don’t have a lot of time, but I would take time for that. We have to be strong.

Please, come on, help us. That’s all I’m asking for. We have to sort it now. Again, there are much more important things going on in the world. Much more important. I know that. But you cannot ignore the small problems only because of the bigger ones.


Asked how many teams are in this season’s title race, Klopp smiles and says: ‘Eight.’ He has an idea of serious contenders, with their opponents on Sunday — Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester — surely one of them. Klopp will not name names, but he welcomes an open race.

KLOPP: That’s absolutely fine, and that will not change because of five subs or because we don’t play at 12.30pm on a Saturday. An open race? I have no problem with that.

REDKNAPP: The last three Premier League champions had 100, 98 and 99 points. Correct me if I’m wrong but it feels like 85 might win it this year.

KLOPP: Sorry to say this but I couldn’t care less in this moment, Jamie. It doesn’t look like somebody will get 100 or whatever. In this season? Four weeks shorter? Same amount of games? I don’t think it’s possible. Even 87 looks far away.

REDKNAPP: You’re battered and bruised right now, Jurgen. If you held on to the Premier League trophy, how would that compare to last year’s achievement?

KLOPP (laughing): If we were to win it this year it would be a big achievement to be honest. Maybe a bigger one. That’s what I love about the Premier League: there are so many contenders. Our start was not so bad. Yes, we had a special game against Aston Villa (the 7-2 defeat). Maybe we needed that. We’ve used it. Leicester on Sunday. Let’s see.

REDKNAPP: How difficult is it to work on tactics with your team now, Jurgen? Do you even have time to do that? At Manchester City, you used a 4-2-4.

KLOPP: In possession. Definitely not when out of possession. Oh my God. How long have I been a manager? Twenty years? In the beginning, as manager of Mainz, that was real coaching. That was Sunday game, Monday recovery, Tuesday off, then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday training and Sunday you play again. You could work on everything.

That’s completely different now. We play on three of those training days. That’s why I was so happy with the game against City. Doing it is tricky. Doing it before facing City, you need a team who listen, and they listened. You need a team who trust you and they obviously do. That was nice.


Goodbye Melwood, hello Kirkby. Liverpool moved to their new home this week. Their £50million base even comes equipped with a fully sanded beach volleyball court, while the door to the first-team suite is named in honour of James Milner. Klopp likes how it allows him — and his team — to engage with the future stars of Liverpool Football Club.

KLOPP: It’s very exciting. Yesterday we had three power cuts in training and the managers’ meeting. You know how it is when something is new. But it is outstanding. I haven’t thought about being a player since I became a manager, but this is the first time I’ve thought, ‘Oh, that would have been nice, changing in that dressing room, swimming in that pool’. We didn’t have a pool when I was a player — we had a bath which was 50 years old

REDKNAPP: Was moving mid-season a difficult decision?

KLOPP: There was no chance for it to be finished in the summer, and we didn’t want to wait until next summer. It fits naturally after two days. When you see the pitches for the first time, you go on your knees. You could stay there for a while because the quality is unbelievable. I’ve told the groundsmen already, ‘That’s the level we will be judging you on from now on’.

Nothing here at Kirkby will be the reason for not being successful in the future. The youth teams can watch our training sessions. That’s not a problem. And it works the other way around, too. Our guys are interested in the whole club, like Milly, like Hendo. They want to stay here forever. Whichever job they have in the future, be it a coach or manager, they are interested. They go over and watch the youth sessions. That gives those kids a massive lift when they see a first-team player next to the pitch. I’m so happy that my team have never forgotten where they came from.

REDKNAPP: Jurgen, this might be an embarrassing question, for me and for you.

KLOPP: Ha ha! I’m excited.

REDKNAPP: What makes you such a great manager?

KLOPP (pauses): Because I have managed to bring really good people together. I like to listen. I like to be interested. I am quite good to then let them grow. That does not make me a great manager but it made me the manager I am today. That is the way. That is the only way I understand.

I’m good at a few things but in all the other things, the men and women who work with me are much better and I’m smart enough to take their advice.

REDKNAPP: It’s the environment you create that strikes me as special.

KLOPP: Honestly, it doesn’t feel that difficult. I could not write a book about how it works but it’s just common sense. Respect the people you work with, support them as much as you can. Then you get the benefit of it. Be a nice person. Why should you behave like an idiot?

Three clubs in my life: Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool. The Mainz players were maybe not that famous, but it was an incredible group. I was not the reason for it, but I did not disturb it. At Dortmund, the boys were flying. It was not because of me. Maybe the timing was right.

And here at Liverpool, how could I make Hendo, Milly, Van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino — all of my guys — better people? I cannot do that. I let them be good people…and I kick their butt when they don’t run enough.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
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Old 20-11-20, 09:07 AM   #7914
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Fucks sake. Thought he was injured as well then
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Old 20-11-20, 10:49 AM   #7915
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Redknapp is such a tool, even in text this is evident.

REDKNAPP: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke out about Manchester United’s schedule. Now you are agreeing with him as an opposing manager. A United and Liverpool manager in agreement!


That was a particularly stupid statement.
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Old 20-11-20, 02:46 PM   #7916
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One of the many, many things I admire about Klopp is when he says 'my English was not good enough to explain this', and then throughout the rest of an interview goes on to perfectly summarise complicated issues and decisions and make comparisons in a way that 99.99999% of natural English speakers could only dream of. He has a real knack for explaining the complicated and making it seem simple. Wish I could do that.
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Old 20-11-20, 02:58 PM   #7917
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One of the many, many things I admire about Klopp is when he says 'my English was not good enough to explain this', and then throughout the rest of an interview goes on to perfectly summarise complicated issues and decisions and make comparisons in a way that 99.99999% of natural English speakers could only dream of. He has a real knack for explaining the complicated and making it seem simple. Wish I could do that.
What do you mean?
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Old 20-11-20, 03:09 PM   #7918
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Old 20-11-20, 03:14 PM   #7919
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Sorry, low hanging fruit right there
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Old 20-11-20, 03:20 PM   #7920
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