Jurgen Klopp’s soundbites are always superb, and he threw out another on yesterday in his interview with the Guardian.
The German was discussing Liverpool’s potential new-look centre-back pairing of Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren – who played versus Leicester on Boxing Day in the absence of the injured Martin Skrtel.
They kept a clean-sheet and ultimately impressed (especially Lovren), but there were some some shaky moments when the defenders were overcomplicated in possession.
“It was not easy for the two of them coming straight back in after injuries but they did really good,” Klopp began. “The one thing I did say to them was: ‘Don’t play these passes. If you want to kill me, use a knife, don’t play these passes!’ They both played them, it’s an invitation for a counterattack. But they played good otherwise and a clean sheet is really good.”
This outlines a key difference between our former manager Brendan Rodgers and Klopp.
Rodgers was famous for his ‘play out at all costs’ instructions, but unless you’re Barcelona – it’s often detrimental and simply gives the opposition the ball in dangerous areas with little rewards.
Obviously this mentality is still ingrained in some of the Liverpool squad, but Klopp wants it eradicated.
His attitude is refreshing and seems so much more sensible. No longer does he want his centre-backs to try and play piercing balls through the middle of the park, because it’s too risky.
What’s more, this will suit Lovren and Sakho, who’ve now kept four clean-sheets in the six matches they’ve started alongside each other in central defence.