During his first visit to Anfield as Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp discussed some of the expectations he had for how he hoped Liverpool will play under his control. The manager is now said to have met with the team members who have not gone off for international duty, which, as luck and injury concerns should have it, could include key players such as Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Christian Benteke, Lucas Leiva, Roberto Firmino, Jon Flanagan, and, most importantly, Jose Enrique. He won't get the whole squad back together until the middle of next week, which leaves little time to prepare for the Tottenham game next weekend and the trip to Russia the following Thursday.
Despite this, Klopp is a football ideologue, and has certain set views on how his teams should play. He explained:
"I am not the guy who is going to go out and shout ‘we are going to conquer the world’ or something like this," he said.
"But we will conquer the ball, yeah? Each ****ing time!
"We will chase the ball. We will run more, fight more. We will work more together, better together. We will have better organisation in defence than the other teams.
"We have to find our own way to play. Our performances have to be enjoyable for ourselves.
"I don’t want to tackle too rough but if there is a tackle that is legal, that is a good tackle that gets the ball, it’s like a goal, if you want? Yeeaaah! What I want is to be a real special team.
"We cannot talk about football philosophy and ball possession, playing like Barcelona, playing like whoever.
"No, this team needs to create their own style. If you have the ball you have to be creative but you have to be prepared that if you lose the ball the counter pressing is very important. It is not a proposal, it is law.
"You cannot decide ‘um’, you have to do it and you will. That is what we all have to learn."
This will be good news to Liverpool fans who are desperate to see their team play attractive football again after a year and a half of watching performances that could be best described, to quote the Klopp himself, as "Um."
Hearing him say that a good tackle is almost the same as scoring a goal should make under-appreciated players like Lucas Leiva, who are tasked to do the team's dirty work with very little credit, happy. A common complaint of previous manager Rodgers was that his sole focus was on the attack, and that he often didn't recognize the importance of protecting those players marauding forward.
Speaking of that, surely if he doesn't know it already, after doing his research on the team in the coming few days, Klopp will realize that the biggest problem the team faces at the moment is their shaky defense. His talk about solid defensive organization is a good start since his high line pressing will be a disaster without the back four playing their parts and avoiding the kind of comical, Bad News Bears-style errors that have plagued them for three seasons now. One need only look at Chelsea's disastrous spell under Villas-Boas to see an example of how this can go very wrong, very quickly.
And also, having a manager who can smile that widely while delivering a casual, friendly f-bomb should be a welcome change for fans who have dealt with a club lost in corporate double-speak and pretense for a last few years. Perhaps in time, and after enough scrutiny by the English media, Klopp will begin to temper his enthusiastic personality, but for right now, it's a breath of fresh air.