When Jürgen Klopp left Borussia Dortmund in 2015, he was ready for a break from football. The idea was for Klopp and a coaching team that included Peter Krawietz would take a year sabbatical from the game before accepting a new project. But after just three months Liverpool sacked Brendan Rodgers and gave Klopp a call.
The German manager had to ring up his team and convince them to abandon their long holiday for an opportunity to bring the fun back to Anfield. Krawietz says he was a bit blind-sided by the offer and worried about missing his birthday party.
“I was as silly to believe that we really will have a one-year break!” said Krawietz.
“I had plans – I moved from Dortmund to Mainz, my hometown, I put my boy into school. We really used the time in the summer to travel from Spain to Greece to here, to there. I made plans for a big birthday party in December and so on.
“And then this call came, ‘Listen, interesting idea – Liverpool is calling.’
“To be honest, I thought, ‘What? Are you crazy? We said one year and we have now three months?’ ‘Yeah, it’s good and you will see it’s a big club.’
“I didn’t jump from the sofa immediately and say, ‘OK, where’s my suitcase? Let’s go.’ I was, ‘I have to think about it, I have to tell my wife as well!’
“But pretty soon it was clear – Liverpool, massive club, England and the Premier League, massive challenge. He convinced me pretty quick.
“It took me one, two, three hours for me to think about, to realise, ‘No break anymore, no holiday anymore. We have to go, we should go, we can go, we are allowed to go.’”
Krawietz is a critical piece of Klopp’s executive staff. While Pep Lijnders is planning training, Krawietz is constantly focused on the game ahead. He’s looking for weaknesses in opponent’s tactics and studying the ways that Liverpool can exploit them. He’s searching for ways the players can improve based on passed performances. He’s basically watching videos all the time.
A self-proclaimed slow footballer, Krawietz never got to match up his ability with his love and passion for the game. He became a coach as a teenager and eventually encountered Klopp at Mainz. They found they shared a similar intellectual approach to winning. Krawietz is generally seen as the brain on staff but he’s no dour egghead. His passion for the team and the club and bringing home the biggest trophies is clear to see.
Liverpool’s Champions League final victory over Tottenham Hotspur last season was an incredible moment for everyone emotionally tethered to the Reds but it was the resulting collective elation of the parade around Liverpool that left Peter in awe.
“What I enjoy always the most is still the moments when only the team is together, but then meeting your families is the next good [thing] and then having a party is funny as well, meeting your friends there.
“Then going back to Liverpool, that’s the moment when you feel it. It was, for me, a massive energy boost in the moment I realised, ‘All these people are as happy as I am.’”