It’s clear to anyone who has been watching Gini Wijnaldum’s style of play change and grow since he arrived from Newcastle how much of a positive influence Jürgen Klopp has had on his development. Wijnaldum has proved himself to be a flexible, impressive, industrious midfielder who Klopp has come to rely on to propel his high-intensity form of football.
Liverpool have a perfect record in their first seven games of the season: six in the league and one in the Champions League. They’ve looked unstoppable, and Wijnaldum took some time to praise Klopp for his tactical and man management.
“He is a really good person who tries to help the players,” Wijnaldum said. “Several times I have been in his office to speak not only about football but also personal situations. He is always there to help, always trying to think with you to find solutions to personal problems.
“As a manager I think he’s one of the best in the world. He is good with tactics and the way he wants to play football. He never changes formation for an opponent, even if the opponent is really good.
“He always tries to play how he wants to play and he always wants 100% every day from the players.”
In terms of training, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that Klopp is a details-oriented taskmaster, constantly demanding his players conform to his vision.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for the players because he sees everything and he always has an opinion about everything, but he only does it to make you better,” Wijnaldum added.
“He is also a very emotional coach during the game and even during training, but I’m very happy with that because since I’ve been here he has made me a better player and I don’t think I speak only for myself but also for the other players.
“You always think that every day at training you can get better. That’s why it is sometimes intense because he just wants to get everything out of the potential of a player.”
The evidence of Klopp’s ability to eke out every single ounce of potential from a player isn’t just seen with Wijnaldum. You need only look at the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, and even Roberto Firmino to see further proof.
This team has started autumn top of the league, looking like world-beaters, and Klopp’s one-of-a-kind management is at least partly to blame. The next four matches in the run-up to the dreaded October international break may be the most difficult of the season, but it’s hard to bet against the Reds, even against the likes of Chelsea, Napoli, and Manchester City.