Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp seminar with English, Dutch, Belgian and German UEFA Pro Licence Coaches.

Jurgen Klopp comes over as passionate, very focused and direct. He says he is ‘here to collect stories’ by which he means do ambitious and exciting things and share success together.

When he first moved to England, he felt that his three cities Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool were very similar. Cities where people are passionate, hard-working and have clubs which are based in working class communities with big footballing traditions. Knowing and recognising the nature of the support is crucial. Dortmund was about the people. He opened the training sessions. It was not a problem at first then they sold out and he had to roll it back. The honest thing is to do it for the people.

Here’s some of what he said –

  • He took time to meet with supporters at Dortmund and explain what sort of football we wanted to play – it’s all or nothing: emotional football to start the story anew, that’s how it’s started
  • Give solutions. The main thing is to change the football so its recognised anywhere even if they didn’t see the Dortmund yellow shirt – a real identity; obviously better, counter pressing.
  • However, if you’re trying to change a culture you must also win games. Changing a culture and losing games doesn’t work. Winning buys you time.
  • At Liverpool there was no clear plan at the beginning; it was step by step based on knowing the people
  • History at Liverpool was a proper burden – we are not the geniuses of the past. Change the perception – from doubters to believers. When I arrived nobody liked the team, only I liked the team not even the team liked the team
  • We gave the boys things to do which they could do. We had a proper agreement that we’d do things differently. They wanted to change things.
  • The style changed and football changed massively. First thing is look at what you have. Don’t overwhelm with ideas. Filter information for the players.
  • I’m demanding. Better that 11 players do everything wrong than 11 doing their own thing. There’s no discussion with players on session or match plans
  • I’m a coach who’s really close to the players but the closer you come but the more questions they have. Questions in which ‘I’m interested in’ are ok
  • Don’t discuss football questions with journalists: discuss those with coaches.
  • At Liverpool counter pressing is not a proposal it’s a law. Only area where consistency is not allowed to be an issue is defensively.
  • When I make a decision, I trust myself I’ve gathered all, the knowledge I need. I’m not much different losing or winning. Don’t expect perfection in yourself. I keep my tactics flexible

Klopp is an interesting paradox. He’s very direct and focused and tells players what he wants yet at the same time insist on an outstanding environment at the training ground where people are nice to each other. His last words were be a nice person.