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Klopp Talk: Reds Need to be Ready for a Fight Against Villa & Gerrard

Jurgen Klopp and Steven Gerrard are approaching today’s match with zero sentimentality, and Liverpool supporters should do the same.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final Previews Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

In case you’ve been hiding in a deep, dark cave without any internet connection, first of all, welcome back, we’re still in a global pandemic and everything still kind of sucks. Secondly, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has taken over managing duties of Aston Villa, and is set for an Anfield return this afternoon. Third, don’t be like the entire Spurs squad, and get vaccinated.

Anyway, Stevie G has gotten off to a pretty good start in his Premier League managerial career; he has 3 wins out of 4, with the 1 loss being to league leaders Manchester City. Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp would like to hand Gerrard his second loss, and keep pace with City in the process.

“There will be no person inside this stadium today more keen to keep the focus entirely on the match itself than Steven,” Kloppo wrote in his match program notes. “This is a tough column to write in many respects, because of course it is important to acknowledge what a significant moment it is having him return today but at the same time not lose sight of the fact that for 90 minutes we are opponents.

“It’s fantastic news for the Premier League to have Steven Gerrard in our competition as a manager. Typical of him, he has done everything properly on his path to such a terrific club like Villa.

“I remember the discussion we had when it was very early in his coaching career and we talked about the most suitable role at LFC for that to begin. Stevie chose a tough route. He didn’t want shortcuts. He wanted to be judged on the work he did as a coach and U18s manager. I can’t begin to tell you how much respect I had for him in how he went about that.

“And then, his first senior job was far from being a holiday. The expectation and history of a great club like Rangers could have been difficult for a lesser leader, but he made them better each season and eventually he made them champions.

“Steven is the professional he is and has had the career he has had, until now, because he has always had focus on one thing: winning!”

It’s only natural to have mixed feelings about Gerrard roaming the touchline for another Premier League club. However, he still has a long way to go to prove that he is a manager capable of leading Liverpool (i.e. one of the world’s best).

Hopefully Liverpool will make that long way just a bit longer, and send him and the Villains back to Birmingham with nothing to show for it.

It is a football cliché at this point, but no one person should be bigger than the club. Gerrard and Klopp are two people who come close to testing that cliché, but both still fall well short.

Personally, I hope Reds are ready to celebrate each and every goal for Liverpool today. And I hope Liverpool give them plenty to celebrate.