Klopp: Liverpool’s backroom team and ‘the details that make it all’
Written by Simon Austin — May 26, 2019
LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to his new-look backroom team and ‘the details that make it all’ ahead of next Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham in Madrid.
When assistant Zeljko Buvac - nicknamed ‘the brain’ - left in mysterious circumstances last April, some predicted it would seriously damage Liverpool’s prospects.
However, the Reds have gone from strength to strength with some new personnel. Pep Lijnders returned to the club in June to replace Buvac and Klopp said: “ I could write a book about him, about what a big influence he had. About what a fantastic young - I still don’t know what his title is - assistant manager.
“What a fantastic coach he is, what a lively presence he is, how big the influence of his optimism is and how lively he is on the training pitch. It is just a fact thing — I was like that when I was young and I am not like that any more, that’s how it is.
“You cannot use the [same] words always and again... so it gives me the opportunity to watch and go in the right way.”
At the end of last season Klopp also identified that his side was not as strong as it should be from set pieces and crosses.
The manager’s long-time assistant Peter Krawietz has worked on this side of the game along with post-match analysts Harrison Kingston and Mark Leyland and opposition analyst James French.
“It was clear the players we have and the talent of the boys who take set-pieces and crosses, that we didn’t score enough from these situations, so we focused on it,” Klopp explained.
“The analysis department came up with proposals for what we could do and the outcome is brilliant.”
The German also credited Danish throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark, who started working with the side from pre-season, and who TGG interviewed in depth in September.
“We brought in Thomas and it changed our throw-in game completely,” Klopp said. “It's not obvious because when people talk about throw-ins they think it’s a long throw-in and you head it in. Now we have 18 (different) throw-ins in other areas and we want to have the ball after these throw-ins.
"It makes no sense if you have a throw and then after comes a 50-50 situation. How that improves is massive.”
Another new addition was goalkeeping coach Jack Robinson, who joined from the Football Association in September to assist John Achterberg.
“How they deal with the goalies, bringing in Alisson when Simon [Mignolet] was already the No 1 and how they brought the guys together [was important],” Klopp said.
He added: “So many details make it all and I don’t normally speak about it because I will forget somebody and that wouldn’t show the respect I want to show. All [the staff] know how important they are because we don’t hide our praise or giving of credit in our daily work.”
“They all know how important they are because we don’t hide our praise or giving of credit in our daily work. But to speak about it publicly is not always easy because there are so many.”