Jurgen Klopp has claimed he’s good to his players providing they stay concentrated when he’s trying to impart wisdom and help them improve.
If they switch off, he switches.
The manager is known for his personal relationships with his squad and the praise he lavishes on them when they follow his instructions carefully, but on the training ground – this isn’t always the case!
“To maintain the relationship, it’s not like we come together every day and hug each other,” Klopp told the Telegraph. “We enjoy the work. I know what they want, they know what I want. We’ve had some nice moments already and hard moments already and in the hard moments nothing came between us, not in the whole of January. Absolutely nothing.
“I did not say how can I win if they don’t deliver because I didn’t think it. And they didn’t say they could win if I said the right things, because they didn’t think it.
“Nobody expects perfection. I don’t expect it from them and they don’t from me. It is all full of respect. As long as they work really hard I am a really nice person. If they start not working – and that does not mean running it means concentrating on what you need to play football, listening – then I am not a nice guy, but none of the players expect me to let them do what they want. They know someone has to make the rules and it is long ago I made them, and now we have to respect them.”
Players like Mamadou Sakho, Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge have already felt Klopp’s wrath. The former was frozen out of first-team consideration for disobeying team orders and is now on loan at Crystal Palace, while £32m 2015 signing Benteke was offloaded to the same club last summer after failing to adapt to Klopp’s tactical demands.
Sturridge, formerly our best and most important player, is a substitute after similarly struggling to develop into the kind of forward Klopp wants to lead his line.
Time will tell, but in the summer, Sturridge may join the likes of Sakho and Benteke on the Liverpool scrapheap.