Jurgen Klopp has again stated why the Premier League is harder to win than the Bundesliga.
He won the title twice in his homeland with Borussia Dortmund, beating Bayern Munich in the process, but has yet to achieve a similar feat here.
The German is about to finish his second season on our shores and providing his Liverpool side beat Middlesbrough on the final day, he’ll have earned a top four finish – above the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United…
But it’s not been plain sailing, as our miserable January run and title collapse demonstrated.
“The way the league’s perceived in Germany, and I wasn’t any different, is that they don’t get anything done in Europe,” Klopp told Kicker, translated by ESPN. “But that’s not because the players all of a sudden can’t play or the coaches got worse.
“The real reason is: The competition is extremely wearing. I’ve not had one single easy match here, and have rarely seen out games. Otto Rehhagel once said one of the greatest-ever things: Who always hopes for an easy match, will never get one. Who always expects a difficult match, will sometimes have one. It’s like that.
“A war of attrition, competition, competition, competition with a long cup and more games in the league. It’s very difficult to bring that in tune with the challenges in Europe given today’s intensity.
“Here, the results are paramount and every team will do anything, and do not hold back in their methods. This means a fight for everything week in, week out. You need to get yourself into it.”
Interestingly, Pep Guardiola has been saying similar things following his debut season at Manchester City, while oddly, three-time winner Jose Mourinho’s bemoaned United’s schedule as well.
Antonio Conte’s success with Chelsea shows that it’s by no means impossible to adapt European methods into English success, however. His 3-4-3 formation had been largely barren for many years before the beginning of this one and the Blues have waltzed tot he title. Now, Arsenal and Spurs often use it, and Klopp’s indulged on the odd occasion too.
The key for Klopp is collating a squad big enough and good enough to compete on all fronts, and then hoping for good luck with injuries, which has undeniably wreaked havoc with our chances in 2016/17. Appropriate backup would have lessened the problem, of course.