Despite the giant hugs Klopp doles out with impunity, it should come as no surprise that to become champions with seven games to spare takes a considerable amount of hard work and intensity in training. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain discussed what it was like being at Melwood with the boss who has already guided them to Champions League and Premier League glory.
“It’s intense. There’s no days off at all and there’s no tolerance for levels to drop,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
“If they do from time to time as a team, we’re reminded that that’s not good enough and that’s not where we need to be to progress further. I think this sort of period now is a really good period for us. Obviously we’ve achieved what we’ve achieved now and that’s massive for us as a team and, more importantly, for the football club after so long for the fans.
“It’s a test of, ‘Right, now we need to go again and we need to go to the next stage and how far can we push this?’ We don’t know but we need to do everything we can to try and stay where we are now and develop again because the league develops every single year and all teams strengthen. It’s hard to keep up those levels and that consistency every year. We now need to keep pushing and pushing ourselves.
“Playing for this manager, that’s exactly what he does every day. That’s what we know and what we’ve come to expect. That’s just normal now.”
It’s undeniable that the culture around Melwood has changed for the better since Klopp came to the club. A team that was once ridiculed for their tendency to leak goals, squander leads, and choke when it mattered most now can’t seem to stop winning. Captain Jordan Henderson has probably added some extra reps to his arm workouts just to be able to hoist all those trophies.
Furthermore, even though Klopp is a tough taskmaster, the team has never looked more cohesive or happy. There’s no infighting, no drama, nothing to detract from their shared goals.
As this season comes to an end, we’ll sure see the players continue to push to win their remaining games, even though they’ve already bagged the title.