Melissa Reddy from Goal interviewed Jurgen Klopp before Liverpool left America for England, and has published her lengthy chat with the boss today…
It includes tales of his first trips to England as a youngster, and you can read the full version by following the links above – but we found the segment about his current coaching team the most interesting.
Klopp is quick to namedrop Zeljko Buvac, his primary assistant, as the best coach he’s ever met, while also lauding the likes of new fitness coach Andreas Kornmayer, young coach Pep Ljinders, goalkeeping coach John Achterberg and Peter Krawietz – Klopp’s other assist.
“Zeljko is the best coach I’ve ever met, he is unbelievable, like a football book!” he began.
“Pep is in a very good way, heading in the right direction. He is young, with wonderful skill which will see him become a great coach in future, I’m sure. I was happy to bring in Andreas [from Bayern]. He has top experience, is really educated in his job and is a good guy as well.
“John Achterberg – more passion for goalkeeping is not possible! Pete – he’s watched I don’t know how many games in the last 20 years, he can tell you everything. He’s another who has to see everything, and so in total we have 10 plus eyes on things and then after training, it’s not over. We sit together and discuss what we’ve seen.
“When I started as a manager, I did everything – all the jobs alone – and it was the best school you could have. I learnt everything from point zero and that’s good. But today we don’t need that, we work together as a group who are very experienced, but are still very hungry to learn.
“We talk a lot, and that for me is the best lesson you can get in a day – to speak to smart people about things they know about much more about than you do.”
It’s well know that Klopp doesn’t take sole credit for the management of his teams – shown by the fact his backroom staff were offered the same lengthy contract extension he was at the beginning of summer.
Buvac, Krawietz and Ljinders have been prominent on the training field throughout pre-season, barking just as many instructions as Klopp.
Liverpool fans will get to know Kornmayer and judge him on the fitness of our players this term. His track record is exceptional at Bayern, but he’s had a difficult start with the unfortunate injuries to various squad members already.
Achterberg gets stick from supporters, but that’s mainly because of the performances of Simon Mignolet. If Klopp rates him, we should too; especially now he’s got young German Loris Karius to work with as well.