The reality is that, for football as well as more broadly in society, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic won’t just impact this season. In all likelihood, it will impact the next season as well, with the only question being how much it impacts it.
Between concerns over a serious second wave of the virus and with the fans in any case unlikely to return until a treatment is developed, next season will be impacted in some way, and Jürgen Klopp says he’s told his players to expect as much.
“We have some time to prepare the rest of this season and already the next,” Klopp said. “I don’t think there will be a massive break between the two. We don’t know exactly but we should prepare for a rather shorter break between the two seasons.”
There will be some downtime between seasons, but even that won’t look especially normal, with players unlikely to be jetting off on holiday. And when they return, as is the case now, they will partake in a very unusual kind of pre-season.
Still, as Klopp noted yesterday, being back is where he and his players want to be right now—despite the larger uncertainty, and despite that that uncertainty is probably going to extend well into next season even in a best-case scenario.
“Today we started with training, good things, not the highest intensity but the boys look in good shape,” the Liverpool manager added. “It’s a pre-season for us. We don’t know how long and we will not have test games or friendlies, not really.
“Usually our players have two or three weeks’ holiday a year, now they had nine weeks off. It was not a holiday but it was nine weeks off. Finally they got a real rest. On the other side, of course, you cannot rest when you are worried about the situation in the world.
“But it’s the situation and we have to make sure, and we will—we already did the testing, so we know how fit the players are or how fit the individual player is—and then work from that.”