clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Klopp Thinking Outside and Inside the Box

In the past week or so, a great many words have been said and written about Klopp's larger-than-life personality and success as a football manager. However, a little bit of research shows a thoughtful and highly unorthodox approach to managing.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp claims to know all the words to "You'll Never Walk Alone." He might know the words, but he doesn't necessarily practice it. Walking alone is something he's been known to do from time-to-time.

After particularly poor results at Dortmund, Klopp was often seen leaving the stadium with his backpack, and walking home alone to think about the match.

Walking, in fact, is something Klopp is quite fond of. When he was earning his bachelors in sports science, he even did his thesis on it, titled, "Walking - Inventory and evaluation of a sport for all."

Over the years, Klopp has repeatedly made headlines for his unusual training techniques, many seemingly having nothing to do with football.

Back in 2004, Klopp led FSV Mainz 05 to their first ever promotion to the Bundesliga. Most managers' first order of business would be to hit the training pitch, preparing players for the upcoming challenge, and to focus on bringing in new players to fill in any weak spots. Klopp certainly did those things as well, but he had a particularly unorthodox training exercise: 5 days at a Swedish lake without food:

We went with the team in a lake in Sweden, where there was no electricity. We stayed for five days without food. They had to [fish].

The other coaches were saying: Don't you think it's better to do training by playing football? No. I wanted my team to feel like they can survive anywhere. But my assistant thinks I'm an idiot. He asked me if we can train there? No. Can we run there? No. But we can swim and fish!

When I meet these players now, they tell me what happened in every day on this adventure. Every night had a small camping, lying at the roots. No-one can forget these days. We had to find the next island. The first player who did, had to start a fire and boil some water. It was raining all the time. There were only five hours that wasn't raining, and we saw a... mosquito.

How they can live in Sweden? You see the sun and feel the mosquito's. We were like Braveheart, and the world did not believe how strong we were after this experience."

Forget about Malaysia or the U.S. for your pre-season training, lads. Prepare for Being: Liverpool, Survivor Edition.

This might be comparatively easy to do at a smaller club like Mainz 05, but what about training Liverpool? If his days at Dortmund are any indication, he'll still find ways to make his eccentric coaching style work.

For instance, prior to the 2014 Champions League group stage match against Arsenal, Klopp declined a training session at Emirates Stadium, in favor of a kick about in Regent Park (though, it must be noted Dortmund lost this match 2-0).

A week later, as an apology for this and many other similar poor performances domestically, Klopp had the players pulling pints (or more accurately half-liters) for fans at a Dortmund pub.

The Black Forest native is not beyond utilizing innovative on-field training techniques either. Klopp thought out-of-the-box by putting his Dortmund players into a box: a four-sided cube to help players make quicker, more accurate decisions.

After a year of indecisive, slow, inaccurate passes in the final third, Melwood needs one of these machines, stat.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside