Unai Emery’s last meeting with Jurgen Klopp, the 3-1 come-from-behind win in the Europa League final, left the Liverpool boss without much to smile about.
But on a day-to-day basis, outside of the pressure cooker of a final for a major bit of silverware and Champions League qualification, Kloppo is generally comes off as a pretty happy dude. This fact is not lost on the new Arsenal manager ahead of their renewed hostilities.
“I look at Klopp and he smiles every day,” Emery said in his pre-match press conference, “I want to smile like him and a smile is better when you win.
“We need to do thing positively, with a smile and then we can enjoy it but also work.
“So I need to learn to smile more. When we win it’s more easy but I need also to smile at other moments.
“But our work is very demanding and every day we need to be very prepared for each match. But then it’s very important also to transmit to the players with a smile.”
These are some kind words from the Spaniard, but they also get to a deeper truth as to why Klopp is considered such a “player’s manager.” His ability to connect with his team, through both good and bad times, has allowed the Liverpool boss to push his players to their limits throughout his career. And a big part of that ability comes from his impossibly charming and toothy grin.
Of course, that smile is even larger after a good result. Let’s hope we see maximum smiles from Klopp today, and he can resume private smile tutoring of Emery at a later date.