After Liverpool so completely dispatched FC Porto in the first leg of their Champions League tie in Portugal, Jürgen Klopp packed up his team and headed off to warmer climes than England for some team bonding under the sun. The Reds are currently shacked up in Marbella on the shores of the Mediterranean.
“We are here to train, as you can see,” said Klopp while hurriedly covering a stack of tequila crates and Monopoly boards.
“It’s the day after the game, the boys who played did a shorter session and the rest of the boys trained for a couple of hours. That’s the reason we’re here.
“It’s also because it’s a change of circumstances, the light is different obviously and I thought for all the things we have to do now, like working a little bit on different systems and stuff like that, it made sense that we can do it in shorts and with real light.”
Liverpool have been blessed with a ten-day break before their next match—because being out of the FA Cup has it’s perks—and Klopp is using the chance to fine tune the nuances of his squad without the tactical focus on an upcoming opponent. It’s also a chance for the smaller knocks and injuries to get ironed out around the campfire with smores.
Klopp has a (mostly) full complement of players at his disposal now. The major injuries are behind him with Nathaniel Clyne joining in the training fun and Adam Lallana and Danny Ings on the up and up as well as others. But these returning players should not expect to join the steadily moving queue of rotation that typified the compact winter schedule.
“We made our rotation in the winter, in November and December, to be now 100% fit,” Klopp said. “Now we are 100% fit the best players will play all the time.
“Adam Lallana has been in and out but now his is in and hopefully it stays like this because he is very important for us and is another option.
“Ingsy and Dom Solanke made pressure like crazy, it’s really good. Ragnar Klavan was unlucky with getting really ill and then a little bit injured in the moment when Virgil came in, but he is still a fantastic player.
“We need all of these players and hopefully we have them all available and then we will make a decision. But it’s not that I think now we will rotate before of after. We go for everything.”