One of the knocks on Jurgen Klopp ahead of his appointment as manager of Liverpool Football Club was that he did not like to rotate. Citing the injury history of Marco Reus and the standard look of his clubs, some postulated that he might struggle with adapting to a squad that lacked quality in depth while competing in a league known for fixture congestion. And if all went right, pressures on a thin squad would only increase with the addition of more fixtures in competitions like the Champions League.
It’s safe to say that those fears have been misplaced as Klopp showed a master’s touch while guiding last year’s Liverpool squad to a Champions League final run - the second appearance in a European final under his tenure. And with another successful summer transfer window that has only made the options available to him more plentiful, it stands to reason that questions on how he’d deploy all of these weapons would continue to crop up.
While at his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp spoke openly about having to juggle personnel.
“It is a big misunderstanding that we will plan for the game tomorrow and [also] think about the game after and the game after. That’s too complicated; you have to go into the next game and see who you can choose. That’s it – you always try to have your best team.
“It is clear, with numbers [from] games and all that stuff – we get so much information after a game, which you [the media] don’t have – you see how players react in different situations. We have to do that, we have to rotate – [but] I don’t know if we’d call it ‘rotation’.”
Semantics aside, Klopp has clearly embraced the need for using players in a manner that preserves them and also, likely, reflects the needs in facing the opposition at hand. Looking at the tactical plans and who’s available, there’s a real sense that we’re watching a special manager do elite work right before us.
What’s perhaps more exciting is that Liverpool fans have a squad here that can marry Klopp’s level of managerial quality with a stable of Liverpool footballers that is also elite. And now we are only one sleep away from watching them take the pitch again. This is truly a special time to be a Liverpool fan.