With two teams recording the three highest points totals ever in Premier League over the past two seasons, the margins for error at the top of the table have never been smaller, and in Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool have a manager who is willing to poke and prod at every possible aspect of preparation in order to extract the highest possible level of performance from his players.
After adding specialists in the areas of physical performance, nutrition, and throw-ins, Klopp this summer took the step of inviting professional surfer Sebastian Steudtner to coach his squad in stress and anxiety management. That experiment seems to have left the German wanting more, and on Thursday, it was revealed that the Reds have hired specialist sports psychologist Lee Richardson to consult the Liverpool players.
The former Chesterfield manager has actually been embedded at Melwood since July, and is on hand three days a week to offer his services to Klopp’s charges should they need them. On evidence of the Klopp-styled mentality monsters’ ability to pull wins out of the fire in recent months, it seems to be working wonders.
This is not the first time the Reds have worked with a sports psychologist. In the early years of Brendan Rodgers’ reign, psychiatrist and Dr. Steve Peters worked with the Liverpool squad, right up until their narrowly failed title challenge in 2014, during which he left to work for the English international side.
A previous association with Sam Allardyce aside, Richardson’s seems a sound hire, and his work appears to be serving the desired function. Hopefully, the Reds go all the way and the sports psychologist can be part of a winning formula this time.