Of Jurgen Klopp’s many talents that set him apart from other managers, his ability to deal with adversity is surely one of them. Whether bouncing back from a failed promotion campaign or a Champions League final loss, he usually finds a way to turn difficult situations into long-term positives for his squads.
Compared to the many struggles Klopp’s teams have had to overcome, an ad hoc preseason schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis probably won’t be the most difficult he has had to deal with. Still, Liverpool seem to be dealing with it as best as they possibly can.
Klopp addressed the hastily put together preseason schedule in a brief interview with the club’s official website.
“How we all know, this camp pretty late, so we are really pleased that we found this caliber of opponent,” Klopp explained. “The agency who helped us with organisation came up immediately with Stuttgart and said they are in the area so maybe we can make a game there. Then they were happy, we are very happy, so that’s good, first and foremost.
“We are here in the wider Salzburg area, so on the way home pretty much, if you want, we play them. It’s good. We know, meanwhile, Red Bull was really in all the plannings here, so I’m happy that we can do that.”
Although Klopp did not go further into detail about Red Bull Salzburg’s involvement, it’s interesting to note that the clubs clearly continue to have a good working relationship. We know from the transfer of Takumi Minamino in January that the clubs are on good terms, which helped alert Liverpool executives about the availability of the Japanese international.
They apparently moonlight as a travel agency as well.
Kloppo also seemed pleased with the training so far.
“From a sports point of view, it’s important for us obviously after the mini-break to find our feet as quick as possible, if you want. Training looks really, really good in the moment – this is actually what we expected, the boys didn’t lose a lot from the physical abilities. So now [we] are in the middle of the preparation, all the tactical stuff already.
“So it looks really good in the moment and the two opponents are really good opponents, so that will be really tough. How it is always, you play these out of full training, so the boys have to fight, dig deep but I think they will do that.”
While we wouldn’t expect a big drop-off after a two-week break, it’s good that everything seems to be in order. And the boss will likely be pleased that he can get all the players into preseason training at once, without plans being interrupted by various international summer tournaments.