Liverpool can expect a different way of playing football now that Jürgen Klopp is the manager, but a hopeful and expectant fanbase will have to wait for over a week to see how the players will line up against Premier League opposition. The personality, reputation, charisma, track record, vision, and suitability all exists within Liverpool's first German manger to succeed.
In his first interview with the club, the new "24/7 Liverpool man" was keen to stress that the hierarchy and his team will be on the same page moving forward. What's interesting is the acceptance and knowledge of team building. This is an individual who has undertaken a similar job before, knows that genuine development does not occur in an instant, and will ensure that the club's defensive foundations are in place before the "heavy metal football" arrives.
Expectations can be a really big problem, it's like a backpack with 20 kilos more. You have to have a stable defence. That is the first thing, always. Our position is okay so we can start our development. If it's possible let's try to be the hardest team to beat in the world.
I'm here because I believe the potential of the team. I see the team and think everything is good. At this moment we're not the best team in the world, but who cares? We want to be the best team in the world. We have some problems and we have to solve them. We have speed and technical ability. The first game is Tottenham and we have to make a team for this game. I'm not a dreamer, I don't want Cristiano Ronaldo, I want these guys.
Now we start work. Of course I will adapt, but I don't think about this because I know English football. But it's not so important at this moment because it is football. My experience is to listen, see, feel and then think about what to change. I've been in football for a long time, I don't want to make it too complicated. It's very important that the player can understand easily what you want.
Liverpool have consistently struggled defensively under Brendan Rodgers. While the attacking aspect of the game was drastically improved before plummeting over the past 12 months, there was no defensive foundation for the side to rely on. Clean sheets would arrive in bursts before disappearing in a haze of set piece maladies, individual errors, and structural failings. Rodgers' Liverpool conceded an average of 1.27 goals a game over 122 league games from 2012 to 2015, which is over 48 league goals per season. Klopp's approach probably will get Liverpool going in attack, but it's good to see that the new man in charge highlighted defence early on as an area for improvement.
The press conference brought further insights, and often many observers neglect the importance of defensive transitions. If one watches teams managed by the most high-profile proponents of counter attacking such as Diego Simeone and José Mourinho, defensive transitions are crucial to their method. Reorganising when a ball is lost, the different press to apply in various areas of the field, and positional expectations with and without the ball. With Jürgen Klopp's penchant for a higher defensive line, however, the need for defensive excellence is just as demanded. His Borussia Dortmund title winning sides of 2010/11 and 2011/12 conceded an average of 0.69 goals per game across 68 league games. It's something to aim for, or at least, get close to in a league that Klopp admitted is full of challenges.
This is one of the biggest problems you have here in Liverpool. Five six or seven clubs can win the championship. We have to develop. This would be a good moment for restarting. It's only important we play our own game, we feel the confidence and the trust of the people. It's important the players feel the difference from now on. They have to think they can reach the expectations of the people. We will start to play very emotional football. That's very important at Anfield.
I don't want to talk too much about football yet, not spoken to team yet. I haven't changed. Emotion, speed, transition game. It would be nice to stop taking photos of me when I move from one side of hotel room to the other. Let's concentrate on football. Please give us time to work on it. Please be patient. I don't say we have to wait 20 years, in 4 years I hope to win one title.
The development of Liverpool's transition and speed on the football pitch may be the most exciting area of development, but it will have to be supported by a team that can defend effectively. Whether Liverpool's defensive spine has the players to carry out Klopp's instructions is open for debate, but his words are full of positivity. There are talented players at the club; Klopp realises that. He wants the players to work hard and believe in a brighter Liverpool future, one that they'll hopefully be part of. Already, he's shared enough for everyone connected to the club to be inspired in what was an amazing introduction after signing a three-year contract.
The restart begins today and it will be fascinating.