Pep Lijnders’ influence at Liverpool has just grown and grown.
From initially working as a youth coach, he really revitalised the first team staff when he moved to assistant manager to replace Zeljko Buvac in 2018. He’s become an essential cog in Jürgen Klopp’s machine. Occasionally, he gives us juicy info on the tactical ideas behind how Liverpool play.
“The better you press, the better you counter-press, the less you run, it is that simple because you don’t have to go 60 metres back,” the Liverpool Echo report Lijnders as saying.
“We call it organised pressing, organised counter-pressing, organised chaos.
“As staff, we are consciously working on what happens before and what happens around [the press].
“That’s the organisation and for me, our positional game in the last years has improved so much. What that means is we get better and more control of the games.
“We always say the 30 per cent where we don’t have the ball, we want to be different than all the other teams in the league.
“We don’t say we want 70 per cent of the ball, we say when we don’t have the ball, that is when we want to be different.
“That’s our fingerprint, that’s our way. Because we believe when we don’t have the ball, we dominate that moment if it is counter-pressing.
“And the only way to have that freedom in the attack is to know that when we lose the ball, we can recover it quickly.
“I think the main reason we won, are decisive and could keep it up for a long period, is we focused on the 30 per cent in training constantly.
“That is where we wanted to improve constantly, but as I said before, the better you attack, the more you have the ball, the more you are connected and the closer you have players to each other.
“All these things, the better you counter-press, the less you run. But the better your positional game, the less hectic moments you see.”
Lijnders is one of the sharpest minds at the club. Whatever success Liverpool have had and will have is in no small part down to him. Don’t let anyone forget it.