Jürgen Klopp has become somewhat of a mythical creature. A thoughtful and genuine manager who truly cares more for the team than the game itself, paired with his ridiculous reactions on the sideline during matches. While some may still have some criticisms of him, and rightly so, no one can truly deny that he’s a manager who is passionate about his job and truly loves what he does.
German journalist and Bundesliga correspondent for The Guardian Raphael Honigstein has sought to capture some of this into a new book about Klopp, titled Bring the Noise: The Jürgen Klopp Story. Honigstein spoke to Adam Lallana for the book, as the player has become a mainstay of Klopp’s system whenever he’s fit. If anyone has stories to tell, it’s one of the main components of the manager’s high press game. Including one such story about last year’s Christmas party following the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth.
“When we landed in Barcelona, music came on in the plane and he got on the microphone,” said Lallana. “He was like: 'Listen, lads. If we can party when we win, we can party when we f****** lose.'
“So everyone got off the plane thinking: 'You are right, it is the time to party. Let's party. Let's have a drink.' Which just shows: there is more to life than football. Yeah, we did our best; we lost.
“And yeah, it feels s*** to lose, but there is more to that. The older you get, I think the more it hurts, but the quicker you get over it.”
Partying to chase the sadness of a loss away may or may not be recommended, but credit to Klopp for trying to keep his squad’s spirits up when everything had gone downhill. Truly a snapshot of the man’s character, and what he brings to the team. Lallana also went on to speak about the language barrier, or lack thereof, between the manager and the players. Also those infamous hugs.
“A lot of the time, mainly when he's angry, Klopp says: 'I f****** wish I could speak German to you,'” continued Lallana. “His English is tremendous, actually. I understand whatever he needs and wants to say. But it does frustrate him at times... He can give you a b******ing, he can really praise you. The hugs, they are really genuine as well.
“He will tell you when he is happy with you. He will tell you when he is not happy with you. He is just genuine, straight-up.
“He can't hide his emotions, can he? If he wants to say something he will end up saying it. He says he can be your friend, but not your best friend, because he has to have those difficult conversations with you at times. He would sometimes get frustrated, telling us that we don't believe how good we are.”
There are many criticisms to still be mad for Klopp as a manager but there is no doubt that the German is a good man, and one that cares deeply. In a sport, and a world, where men are increasingly being shone as anything but, it’s refreshing to praise the ones who truly are decent.
Bring the Noise: The Jürgen Klopp Story will be available on November 16th in the UK and February 6, 2018 everywhere else.