Klopp ‘Full Of Energy’ To Meet Challenge Of Liverpool Slump

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted he still has the energy to turn around the English champions’ season after three consecutive defeats ended the Reds’ realistic chances of defending their Premier League title.

Klopp’s men turn their attention to the Champions League on Tuesday when they face RB Leipzig in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Social media speculation after Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester that Klopp could walk away was dismissed by the German, who thanked supporters who placed a banner reading “YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone) Jurgen” outside the club’s Anfield stadium on Sunday.

“I might not look like this, my beard gets more and more grey, but I am full of energy,” said Klopp at his pre-match press conference on Monday. “The situation is a challenge, an interesting challenge.

“We will sort it. We will sort it by playing football, by being even more together, by learning more than you can learn in each season we played before.”

It was reported last week that Klopp’s mother Elisabeth had died last month at the age of 81. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the Liverpool boss was not able to return to his native Germany for the funeral.

The same restrictions mean the match with Leipzig has been moved to Hungarian capital Budapest with Liverpool not offered an elite sport exemption from the German authorities.

“The last thing I want to do is talk about private things. Privately we had a tougher time. That is not just the last three weeks but a much longer time and we always deal with it as a family,” added Klopp.

“Thanks for all the support. I am very grateful for these type of things but nobody has to worry about me.”

At 20 years Klopp’s junior, Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is seen as the heir to his crown as one of Europe’s best managers.

At just 33, Nagelsmann already has a wealth of experience having led Leipzig to the Champions League semi-finals last season, knocking out Tottenham and Atletico Madrid on the way.

The Germans got the better of Manchester United to reach the knockout stages this season and are Bayern Munich’s closest challengers in the Bundesliga.

“Julian is an extraordinary talent,” added Klopp. “He’s still young as a coach, but he’s already proven everything you can as a manager. He’s young, fresh but still experienced and serious.

“An outstanding manager and when we are all old, he will be even better.”

-AFP

Klopp Unable To Attend Mother’s Funeral In Germany Due To COVID-19 Restrictions

Klopp Apologises For Wild Celebrations After 'Weird' Liverpool Winner
File photo: Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp is seen before kick off of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 2, 2018. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed his mother died last month and he is unable to travel from Britain to attend the funeral in Germany because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

According to reports, Elisabeth Klopp died on January 19 at the age of 81. She was from Glatten in the Black Forest region,

“She meant everything to me. She was a real mum in the best sense of the word,” Klopp told local newspaper the Schwarzwaelder Bote.

“As a devout Christian, I know she is in a better place now,” he added.

READ ALSO: Prince Charles Receives First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Germany has introduced strict travel restrictions from countries such as Britain which have been hit by a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

“The fact that I can’t be at the funeral is due to these terrible times,” said 53-year-old Klopp. “As soon as circumstances allow, we will hold a wonderful memorial service befitting her.”

On Wednesday, Liverpool’s official Twitter account offered condolences by posting the message “You’ll Never Walk Alone, Jurgen” accompanied by a photograph of Klopp and a heart.

AFP

Klopp Defends Allison After Disastrous Performance Against Man City

Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker reacts after conceding their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 7, 2021.
Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has come to the defence of goalkeeper Alisson Becker after two crucial mistakes gifted the Manchester City side victory at Anfield.

Alisson was guilty of two misplaced passes in a space of three minutes which allowed Gundogan to grab a second goal after Mohammed Salah had restored parity from the penalty spot and then Raheem Sterling to make it 3-1.

”We made two massive mistakes, everyone saw them 3-1 down in a game that we were even for a long time and you’re really down, it’s tough to take and then there’s a genius situation where they scored the fourth goal,” Klopp said in a post-match interview.

 

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 7, 2021. Manchester City won the game 4-1.
Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

The German though reluctant to speak on the Brazilian’s errors that cost his side the game blamed it on the shot-stopper having cold feet

”We can’t hide them (the Alisson mistakes), we don’t have to talk around it. It’s true as well. We didn’t give a lot of options, especially in the first goal. In the second goal he just mishit the ball,” he said

“There’s no real reason, maybe he had cold feet. It sounds funny but could be.”

While saddened by the match outcome, he insisted there were a lot of positives to take from the Reds’ performance.

”Really good football, I see in your eyes, you see it differently. I really liked it, we were playing really good football against City,” he said.

City’s 4-1 victory moves them to 50 points from 22 games played, five more than second-placed Manchester United who have played a game more.

The win ended a seventeen-year winless record at Anfield which saw Nicholas Anelka net a brace against the then Gérard  Houllier’s side.

Liverpool are now 10 points behind City in fourth spot and next face Leicester City as they hope to get back to winning ways.

‘We Are Not In The Title Race,’ Says Robertson

Photo Credit: Liverpool

 

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has admitted Liverpool are way off the pace in challenging for the Premier League title this season.

Jurgen Klopp’s’men suffered yet another shock defeat at Anfield to 15th placed  Brighton on Wednesday night.

It was the first time the Reds have lost consecutive Premier League matches at home ending an almost impressive nine-year record.

Robertson disappointedly said in an interview ”As this moment stands, we’re not in the title race. We are seven points behind them and they have a game in hand.”

”I’m sure they’d say the same if they were potentially 10 points behind. We need to get back to the Liverpool everyone knows.”

The Scottish defender was full of praise for Brighton, who were disciplined at the back restricting Liverpool to one shot on target

”Brighton were the better team. We were hugely disappointing all over the park. You have to give the team credit for playing well. They created chances, pressed us – did everything we wanted to do,” he said.

He was also critical about their stale performance while calling on fellow team mates to step up.

 

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp reacts during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 3, 2021.
Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

”We didn’t really do anything of note. With a long record of going unbeaten, we’ve lost two. When you don’t show up you don’t get results,” he stated.

”We prepare for every game differently. It’s just not clicking. We need to find a way to get results, especially at home.”

Meanwhile,  Klopp has cited mental fatigue as the cause for the slump in form

‘The Reds boss said ”We didn’t create a lot, for me the team looked tonight, fatigued, mentally fatigued and that leads to not the best play as well.”

”We were not fresh enough which means we were not good enough to break the formation of Brighton.”

While conceding to the slip up from his side, he made it clear that they will keep fighting for the points as they face Manchester City this weekend.

”We fight for three points, it is not decided who will get the three points on Sunday. We have to play better and we will try.”

 

Liverpool’s Klopp Wins FIFA Best Men Coach

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp sits on the bench before the UEFA Champions League, round of 16, first leg football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on February 18, 2020. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp sits on the bench before the UEFA Champions League, round of 16, first leg football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on February 18, 2020. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Liverpool’s coach, Jurgen Klopp, has been crowned as the best male coach in football at the 2020 FIFA Awards.

Klopp, who won the award in 2019, beat Leeds gaffer Marcelo Bielsa and Bayern Munich boss Hans-Dieter Flick to the 2020 version.

“As someone who is becoming accustomed to making history, Jurgen Klopp shouldn’t be surprised at becoming the first man to win The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award in successive years,” FIFA said.

“Having picked up the prize in 2019 after leading Liverpool to the European title, he retains the crown thanks to a remarkable, record-breaking domestic campaign.

“The Reds won the English Premier League with a club-record 99 points – the second-most in the competition’s history – and did so playing a bold and exciting brand of football. More importantly, they ended the club’s 30-year wait for a top-flight title, offering yet more evidence – were any still needed – of their German coach’s managerial talents.”

Van Dijk’s Knee Does Not Look Like It Should: Klopp


Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Virgil van Dijk’s knee does not look like a knee should look after surgery, the Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said.

The Reds defender ruptured his knee ligaments in the Merseyside derby in October following a nasty challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and has since undergone successful surgery.

During a  pre-match press conference ahead of their Champions League fixture against Ajax, Klopp said that the defender was in good condition though his knee wasn’t in great shape.

“Considering the circumstances he is doing well but the knee doesn’t look good,” to be honest, the reds boss said regrettably.

Van Dijk who has been an instrumental part of the premier league winning side has notched 14 goals in 162 matches, while his defensive partnership pairing with Gomez and Matip successively kept 61 clean sheets

He also had this to say concerning the defender’s knee “it doesn’t look good, to be honest. It doesn’t look like a knee should look, but it looks good for a knee with that surgery and the time he had since the surgery”

“So, yes, of course, we are in contact and he’s doing well, that’s true.” when asked if he and the defender were in contact

Klopp also provided an update on Thiago Alcantara’s injury, saying the Spanish midfielder remains a few weeks away from full fitness. Thiago picked up an injury against Everton, following a tackle from Richarlison.

“Thiago, we have to maybe clarify it a little bit,” he affirmed.

”After the scans, it was like one was really bad news, and the other one was really good news because nothing was broken, nothing was ruptured and stuff like this, he further added.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, who suffered a calf injury during the Manchester City match has resumed on-pitch rehabilitation according to the manager

“Trent looks quite good,” Klopp also said.

“I saw him on the pitch doing his rehab stuff so that already looks good but I cannot decide when it will be finished. From what I saw today, it won’t be much longer,” he concluded.

Liverpool next face Ajax in their champions league tie on Tuesday with Naby Keita, James Milner, Joe Gomez, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a long-term absentee with a knee injury.

Firmino Is Key Player In Liverpool ‘Orchestra’, Says Klopp

Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino kicks the ball and misses a chance next to Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 22, 2020. Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Roberto Firmino is a key player in his Anfield “orchestra” despite the Brazil forward’s recent lack of goals for the Premier League champions.

Firmino’s header in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Leicester was only his sixth goal in the whole of 2020.

Firmino’s lack of goals is a stark contrast to Klopp’s free-scoring trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota.

The 29-year-old has never been viewed as a pure finisher, but criticism of his lack of goals has grown in recent months.

However, Klopp, whose side host Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday, insists Firmino’s value is measured in more than just goals.

“Scoring was always important for Bobby but Bobby is a complete footballer,” Klopp said on Tuesday.

“A football team is like an orchestra, you have different people for different instruments, and some of them are louder than others, but they are all important for the rhythm.

“Bobby plays like 12 instruments in our orchestra. He’s very important for our rhythm.”

Jota’s fine form since joining from Wolves has raised questions about Firmino’s place in the starting lineup, but Klopp said he was not worried about the Brazilian.

“I’m not concerned about anything with Bobby, but I know from time to time it happens that he scores a goal,” he said.

“This goal was very important, and what I loved most was the reaction of the boys. You saw the celebration, it was really emotional.

“Obviously the players read newspapers, unfortunately, and they saw there was some criticism, so they were really happy for him to score.”

Liverpool will welcome back Salah after he missed the Leicester game because of a positive coronavirus test while on international duty for Egypt. He has now tested negative.

Three points against Atalanta would guarantee progress to the Champions League knockout phase and offer Klopp the chance to rest players.

Liverpool have kept four clean sheets in their past seven matches despite a defensive injury crisis and have yet to concede a goal in three European games this season.

“How the boys did it is exceptional — different line-ups, different pairings, but now we have to keep doing it like this, or even better,” Klopp said.

“The changes we have to make, we will make, the boys will have to adapt to each other, to different line-ups.

“But not all of it is born on the training pitch because the schedule doesn’t give us time to work on it.”

AFP

Klopp Sympathetic Over ‘Social Pressure’ On Salah

Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury, north-west of Birmingham in England on January 26, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp insisted his players have been “incredibly disciplined” with coronavirus restrictions despite Mohamed Salah testing positive after attending his brother’s wedding in Egypt.

Salah was pictured dancing at the celebration without a mask on while back in his homeland during the international break.

Klopp confirmed Liverpool’s top scorer this season is asymptomatic and could return to England on Friday, but Salah will miss Sunday’s Premier League clash against Leicester.

“He is probably back today, that’s what I’ve heard. We are in close contact with him all of the time,” said Klopp. “At the moment he is in a good place, he feels well, no symptoms, that’s all fine.”

Klopp said he had to resist the temptation to attend a birthday party when home in Germany over the summer and understands why Salah had to attend the wedding.

“In other countries, in other situations, there is more social pressure on you and a brother’s wedding is a very special moment,” he added.

“What I can say about my players is they are incredibly disciplined. Football players in general were incredibly disciplined.

“There were some cases of course, but they really know about the situation.”

 

(FILES) Salah has tested positive for Covid-19 but without suffering any symptoms, the Egyptian Football Association announced on November 13, 2020. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

 

Salah’s absence is just the latest blow for Klopp as he tries to patch together a team to face top-of-the-table Leicester.

Liverpool’s defence has been decimated by injury with centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez expected to miss the rest of the season with serious knee injuries.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will be out for another two weeks due to a calf problem, while captain Jordan Henderson will also miss Sunday’s clash due to a muscle problem.

“There is no season when you have no problem with injuries,” said Klopp. “In our situation it is slightly different where a lot of players in the same position get injured and seriously injured, that makes it tricky, but no one feels any kind of self-pity or feels sorry for ourselves.

“As long as we have 11 players available we will fight for the three points and we will.

“We have the situation we have. We don’t like it because it’s really hard for the boys that have the injuries but the rest is about working on solutions.

“Whoever deals best with the problems in front of them has the chance to be really successful.”

Klopp Raises Concerns Over Internationals As COVID-19 Cases Soar

Klopp
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp speaks during a television interview after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 28, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp said on Friday he is concerned about the number of his players travelling across the world to represent their national teams in the coming weeks as coronavirus infections continue to soar.

The Reds’ Brazilian trio of Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino have been called up for the Selecao’s first two World Cup qualifiers this month — at home to Bolivia and away to Peru.

A host of other players will disperse across Europe for Euro 2020 qualifiers, Nations League fixtures and friendlies.

“I am slightly concerned because it is difficult to get in contact with all FAs (football associations) all over the world,” said Klopp on Friday.

“I understand the demands on all FAs, UEFA, FIFA, I know how difficult the situation is for everybody. But it is just not exactly perfect the information we get from some FAs.”

Klopp also turned on the Premier League and TV broadcasters for a schedule that could see many of his players return on Friday, October 16, before facing Everton a day later. No date or kick-off time has yet been set for the Merseyside derby.

“The Premier League and TV broadcasters give us a challenge on top because they just don’t care if our players play on (Tuesday) night in Peru. They still think it is a good idea to play on Saturday pretty early,” added Klopp.

“In these moments as a club, we are completely alone. You have to make sure you bring the players home in the quickest and the safest (way) because nobody helps you. It’s not like the FA says ‘we pay the private plane’.

“Then they arrive on Friday, then we have to take the test and see if we get the result before Saturday, so it is really tricky. We try everything to make it as safe as possible, but from time to time a little bit more help would not be bad.”

Liverpool are already missing one-star player due to a coronavirus infection for Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa as new signing Thiago Alcantara tested positive earlier this week.

-AFP

Klopp Fires Back At Keane For ‘Sloppy’ Liverpool Jibe

Klopp
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp speaks during a television interview after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on September 28, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Manchester United great Roy Keane rarely came off second best in a tackle but the outspoken TV pundit was forced to backtrack after Jurgen Klopp took him to task for labelling Liverpool “sloppy” following Monday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Klopp jumped on Keane’s observation after his team’s victory, which maintained the champions’ 100 percent record after three games.

“Did I hear right? Mr Keane said we had a sloppy performance tonight? Did he say that?” said Klopp.

Former United and Republic of Ireland captain Keane did not address the question directly.

“I think they gave up one or two opportunities, which he will be disappointed with,” said the 49-year-old.

Klopp, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2019 and their first Premier League title last season, pressed on.

“Did he say that it was sloppy? I want to hear it,” said the 53-year-old German. “I am not sure I heard it right and maybe he was speaking about another game.

“It cannot be this game. Sorry, that is an incredible description of this game.”

Klopp described his team’s performance against in-form Arsenal as “exceptional”.

“This game tonight — there is nothing bad to say,” said Klopp. “It was the opposite of sloppy.”

Keane, unusually for him, sought to calm the situation.

“You might have misheard me,” he said. “There were sloppy moments but I think you have been outstanding and I have been giving the club nothing but praise.

“I am not sure you heard me correctly, you need to hear the rest of it.”

Klopp laughed and said: “I will, 100 percent.”

Keane, though, had the last laugh after the Liverpool boss had left the interview.

“Very sensitive, isn’t he? Imagine if he’d lost.

-AFP

Klopp Praises ‘Spectacle’ As Salah Hat-Trick Sees Liverpool Edge Leeds 4-3

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah scores their fourth goal, his third, from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 12, 2020. Liverpool won the game 4-3. PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp praised both teams for a “proper spectacle” to launch the new Premier League season after Mohamed Salah’s hat-trick helped Liverpool outgun Leeds 4-3 at an empty Anfield on Saturday.

Leeds’ return to the English top-flight under Marcelo Bielsa after a 16-year absence was highly anticipated and a clash against the reigning champions lived up to expectations with five goals in the opening 33 minutes.

Salah’s early penalty was cancelled out by Jack Harrison before Virgil van Dijk played both hero and villain for Klopp’s men by heading home and then laying a second equaliser on a plate for Patrick Bamford.

A superb Salah strike again restored Liverpool’s lead before half-time and even after Mateusz Klich levelled for a third time, the Egyptian had the final say with a penalty two minutes from time to complete his hat-trick.

“What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that,” said Klopp.

“It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game, we have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game.”

Liverpool dropped points at Anfield just once on their romp to a first league title in 30 years last season but were nearly undone on the opening day of their title defence by Leeds’ daring attacking endeavour and a host of defensive errors.

The hosts made the perfect start when Salah’s shot was handled inside the box by Robin Koch and Salah rifled home the resulting penalty.

True to Bielsa’s philosophy, though, Leeds were not intimidated by the blow of conceding early and came out to go toe-to-toe with the champions.

Harrison equalised in style as the on-loan Manchester City winger cut inside Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez before firing low and hard past Alisson Becker.

But it was at the back Leeds looked like a newly-promoted side as slack marking allowed Van Dijk a free header which Illan Meslier should have saved rather than letting the ball trickle over the line.

“To be able to score three goals is a positive, but we should have created more danger when we attacked,” said a despondent Bielsa. “We were very efficient but we didn’t create enough goalscoring opportunities. We also can’t ignore we conceded four goals, and a lot of those goals were from avoidable situations.”

Van Dijk has been near-faultless in two-and-a-half seasons since his signing transformed Liverpool’s fortunes under Klopp.

However, a shootout was reminiscent of the German’s early days in charge at Anfield as Van Dijk was badly at fault for Leeds’ second as his attempted clearance teed up Bamford perfectly to side-foot beyond Alisson.

“We struggled in some defensive situations, that’s why they scored, but I’m really happy with the things we did with the ball,” added Klopp.

“We scored four goals and we could have scored more. I am completely fine with the game. Offensively it was good and defensively we can improve.”

– Salah Keeps His Cool –

More poor defending from a set-piece meant the visitors again did not hang onto parity for long as Pascal Struijk’s header from Andy Robertson’s free-kick dropped to Salah at the edge of the box and he controlled before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Chances continued to come for both sides after the break as Alexander-Arnold was spared an embarrassing own goal by an offside flag against Harrison.

Leeds did level for a third time when the Liverpool defence was cut open again by Helder Costa’s pass and Klich controlled before volleying beyond Alisson.

But Liverpool made a habit of scoring late winners on their way to the title last season and the Reds responded like champions for a fourth time late on.

Leeds’ record signing Rodrigo ensured he had a debut to forget with a rash lunge on Fabinho to hand Liverpool a second penalty of the game.

Salah completed his hat-trick by keeping his cool again to send Meslier the wrong way and make sure Liverpool did not stumble out of the gate in the title race.

Klopp Might Quit Football Post Liverpool

Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury, north-west of Birmingham in England on January 26, 2020. Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp says he might turn his back on football once his present contract with Premier League champions Liverpool ends in 2024.

The 53-year-old German had wanted to take a year off after he left Borussia Dortmund in 2015 but Liverpool came calling that October asking him to replace Brendan Rodgers.

Since then he has guided them to the Champions League trophy in 2019 and this year ended a 30-year wait for the league title.

However, he told German website Sportbuzzer that taking a year out in 2024 will give him time to reflect on what he wants to do next.

“I will take a year off and ask myself if I miss football,” Klopp said.

“If the answer is in the negative, then that will be it for Jurgen Klopp as a coach.”

Klopp — who broke Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on the German title winning it with Dortmund two years running (2010/11, 2011/12) — also revealed what he would miss least about the high-pressure business of football management.

“If one day I’m not a coach anymore, there’s one thing I won’t miss: The brutal tension just before the game,” he said.

“That’s no laughing matter.”

Having landed the first English league title for Liverpool in 30 years, Klopp said the new champions are eager for more silverware.

The task facing Liverpool in defending the league crown is formidable as only Manchester City in the past 11 years has achieved that (2017/18, 2018/19).

“The whole club is up for the new season and wants to do it even better,” said Klopp.

“We want to chase our opponents and continue to be a super unpleasant team that is not fun to play against.

“We’re not defending any titles, we want to get new ones, we’ve only just started winning.”

AFP