Assistants Lijnders, Krawietz and Matos to leave Liverpool with Klopp

LIVERPOOL assistants Pepijn Lijnders, Peter Krawietz and Vitor Matos will leave the club at the end of the season along with manager Jürgen Klopp.

The German stunned fans this morning by announcing his decision to step down when the 2023/24 campaign comes to a close. During his eight-and-a-half-year managerial reign at Anfield, Liverpool have won six major trophies and in contention on multiple fronts this season.

The announcement that Klopp's three main lieutenants are leaving means there will be a true change of regime at the club next season.

Krawietz has worked with Klopp since 2001, when he was Chief Scout at Mainz. The duo went on to work together at Borussia Dortmund and, from October 2015, at Liverpool.

One of Krawietz’s main focuses has always been video analysis and former Liverpool staff member Mark Leyland described him on the TGG Podcast as “kind of the coach-analyst”.

Dutchman Lijnders was already at Liverpool when Klopp and Krawietz arrived, having been brought in when Brendan Rodgers was in charge, but he has become a pivotal member of the German's coaching staff.

After a brief period as manager of NEC Nijmegen, in 2018, Lijnders returned to become Klopp’s effective number two. He has taken a lead in many training sessions and had a big say on tactics, as well as doing media for their League Cup games.

Lijnders will now pursue his own managerial ambitions, as he had always suggested would be the case. Lijnders told the TGG Podcast earlier this year: “I only want to assist Jurgen. After that, I go for myself.”

Lijnders added that Klopp would go down as one of the game’s greats.

“If you look to the past of football, Sacchi changed the way of thinking and training and playing in Milan,” he said. “I think Van Gaal did the same with Ajax. I think Cruyff did the same for Barca. I think Jurgen did the same for Liverpool and there are not many who can say that.”

Matos was appointed in October 2019 and has overseen the transition of players from the Academy to first team. The Portuguese coach was previously B team Assistant at Porto. His role has been key at Anfield because of the conveyor belt of homegrown players making their way into Klopp's senior side.


In an interview with the club’s official website, Klopp explained: “A season starts and you plan pretty much the next season already. When we sat there together talking about potential signings, the next summer camp and can we go wherever, the thought came up, ‘I am not sure I am here then anymore’ and I was surprised myself by that. I obviously start thinking about it.

“It didn’t start [then], but of course last season was kind of a super-difficult season and there were moments when at other clubs probably the decision would have been, ‘Come on, thank you very much for everything but probably we should split here, or end it here.’ That didn’t happen here, obviously.

“For me it was super, super, super-important that I can help to bring this team back onto the rails. It was all I was thinking about. When I realised pretty early that happened, it’s a really good team with massive potential and a super age group, super characters and all that, then I could start thinking about myself again and that was the outcome.

“I told the club already in November (about leaving). It is not what I want to [do], it is just what I think is 100% right. Let’s now really go for it. The outside world want to use this decision, laugh about it, want to disturb us.

“Let’s make a strength of it. That would be really cool. Let’s squeeze everything out of this season and have another thing to smile about when we look back in the future.”

Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon, who has been a conduit between Klopp and Liverpool's owners, added: “First and foremost, on behalf of John Henry and Tom Werner, I would like to state our profound appreciation for Jürgen.

“It goes without saying that we will be hugely saddened to lose not just a manager of such calibre, but a person and leader for whom we have enormous respect, gratitude and affection. At the same time, we fully respect his wishes and the reasons why he has decided the current season will be his last at Liverpool.

“It is testament to Jürgen’s unstinting professionalism and ongoing commitment to the best interests of Liverpool FC that his decision was arrived at in a way which allows for business as usual to be maintained for the remainder of his tenure while simultaneously creating an opportunity for us to prepare for the future.”

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