With a free weekend thanks to the international break, Reds boss Jürgen Klopp spent the afternoon at Holy Trinity bowls clubs in Formby. There he joined members of his coaching staff and fans in a light-hearted game.
Klopp also took some time to reflect on his new life on Merseyside. When asked whether he considers Liverpool home he was unequivocal.
“Yes, 100%. So we would not have signed such a long contract if you think ‘it’s really difficult to live here’. For a dog it’s paradise. The beach, she loves it at the saeaside. It sounds more sad than it is actually, but life is football to be honest in moments like this. The Freshfield (local pub), going there. I really like having a good pint in good surroundings.”
He also discussed his personal highlights (and lowlights) of the past year. His favorite game in charge? The Europa League tie with his former club Borussia Dortmund. His least favorite? Burnley Away. (Same, buddy. Same.)
He also discussed a particular challenge with his job— staying positive while managing expectations.
“The first thing really for this job, you need to know a little bit about football, it makes sense. You have really to handle pressure because they all put pressure on your shoulders, unbelievable. I’m absolutely not interested in expectation, it was never my life from outside. I’m ambitious enough, you cannot be more than 100%. Why should I ask people ‘do you think I should do better’ and things like this. That’s my best skill, I can stay positive even when no-one is positive any more.
“You need to create an atmosphere in the team where they listen to me and not listen to all around because everyone is ‘you have to do this and that’. At the end, they’re very young lads and we all dream about the experienced players of the past. But at one time they were young players, they had not the same qualities. We need to give them the chance to develop, to come there. We always judge so early and say ‘no, we don’t want to see him any more, send him, sell him, we’ll buy him!’ I’m very patient, I know we need time but it doesn’t mean we cannot do it know.”
When asked about what he wants to achieve with Liverpool, Klopp was coy but made it clear he was aiming big.
“I think about a wonderful final which we’ve won, to talk about a few great, great games that we’ve won. Common experience, we don’t know each other but when we come here and talk about Liverpool we have something in in common which is really nice, that’s what I love. The more we can talk about it, the better it would be. I cannot say the one thing, I wish that it would happen, but if I say it everybody goes nuts.”