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Liverpool Will “Have to Run” Under Jürgen Klopp

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According to former players, Liverpool will be tasked with collectively running 120km every match as their new manager looks to install his vision at Anfield.

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Uptempo, high pressure football. Transitioning instantly to a counter-pressing defence the moment your team loses the ball in an attempt to win it back before the opposition settles in possession and can begin to build their own attack. Or, to use just the one word, gegenpressing.

Liverpool fans have become used to the concept and expect new manager Jürgen Klopp will attempt to install it over the coming weeks and months. According to former Mainz defender Tim Hoogland, that will mean a lot of running for the players as the manager targets not possession or chances created but miles run as the key metric for success.

"You have to run," Hoogland, who spent a season with Klopp at Mainz in 2007-08, told FourFourTwo. "That's it. I think this is one of the important things you have to know about him. The whole team has to run 120km collectively every game—minimum."

To get there, every player who goes the full 90 would have to run an average of 12km per match. Last season, one Premier League player—Burnley's George Boyd—averaged 12km a game. Only 13 averaged more than 11km an outing. Even taking substitutes into account, it makes Klopp's 120km seem a touch difficult.

The good news for Klopp and Liverpool at least is that, so far this season, nobody has run more than James Milner, who leads the league in distance covered after eight games. At least one of the club's players already seems as though he might be ready to get started on a bit of gegenpressing, then. Collectively, though, it could take some time.

"In his first year he said he wouldn't guarantee anything apart from that when we reached 120km per game it would be much harder for us to lose," said Patrick Owomoyela, who played for Klopp at Dortmund from 2008-13. "He offered us a day off when we reached that target. He thought if we reached it then we would win the game."

It may take a little bit of time to see the results on the pitch, but it seems safe to say the fans and players can at the very least expect one thing from Jürgen Klopp being made Liverpool manager: lots and lots of running.