How could the news about Jürgen Klopp staying at Liverpool for two years past his original release date get any better? By including Pepin Ljinders and Peter Krawietz in the deal. Klopp has long attributed much of his success to his team of assistants, most notably Peter who has followed him since Mainz - a relationship that Klopp himself describes as “an old couple.”
“To have Pep and Pete join me in signing new deals and therefore making sure we’d continue to work together was incredibly important to me in making my decision to sign my own contract,” Klopp said, in speaking about everyone’s new deals.
“I’ve said there were a number of things that made my decision an easy one – and Pep and Pete signing was one of them. A massive one, in fact.
“It is important they remain here to continue the continuity of our project together. What they bring to Liverpool FC is invaluable.”
Pep, of course, left briefly to try managing a club in his native Netherlands, but returned as joint assistant manager in 2018. There was also the departure of Zeljko Buvac in 2018 that allowed Ljinders to move into that role, alongside Krawietz. The proof of that move has been since been history. Krawietz himself has played a more quiet role in the setup, but no less important or hidden.
“Of course, as manager many will see me as ‘the face’ of this club and I can understand that, but Pep and Pete’s influence on our success and story together should not – and should never be – undervalued,” Klopp explained.
“My story with Pete goes back many years now to our time together at FSV Mainz and Borussia Dortmund and I’m so happy it will continue for a few more years.
“What this guy sees on a football pitch is remarkable, really. I don’t know how he does it, but it’s a talent and one that Liverpool FC are better for having. I have watched Pete develop as a coach over our years together and since we both came to Liverpool, I have really seen his influence and talent grow and grow. He is an outstanding and priceless coach.”
Ljinders himself has been thought by fans to be the potential successor to Klopp, should the manager have left at his original deadline - a sentiment the German would likely agree with, hearing how highly he thinks of his co-assistant.
“As for Pep, wow. I have been lucky enough to meet many, many people in football during my time in the game and I don’t think I have ever met anyone with the energy and enthusiasm he has for this game,” the manager added.
“I think I have said in the past, there is nothing he does not know about this sport. His passion for it is remarkable and his enthusiasm in training each day is infectious. Since he came back to us in 2018, it has been a privilege to watch him grow and, for sure, he has a long and successful career ahead of him in football.”
It has to be said that Klopp wouldn’t have felt right about staying if he didn’t have the full support of everyone at the club, and that support was paramount in deciding to stay a few more years. Not only his own staff in Pep and Peter, but everyone from the bottom up.
“I have said before I am the luckiest guy in the world to work with my players each day – and the same can be said of my staff. Not just Pep and Pete, but all the people at the AXA Training Centre who each day make such a big commitment to trying to make us the best we can possibly be,” said Klopp.
“What you see on the pitch from the boys comes from the collective effort that’s made each and every day here. We all share the same passion: to make Liverpool FC the best team and club in the world and that’s really cool.
“As I have said, I am nothing without my staff and what each member of the club brings to this project is what makes us what you see today.
“This news today is exciting for us all and I am so happy that I will have Pep and Pete alongside me to continue our incredible story together.”
Enjoy this news and what it means for the club, because these are the days we were wishing for back when things were not as great. A manager who truly cares not only about achieving success, but doing it in a way that makes everyone feel wanted, included, and productive. Long may they rule.