Brazilian stalwart Lucas Leiva, our longest serving player, cannot wait to get going after meeting Jurgen Klopp.
Lucas has been here since 2007, playing under Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers, but there’s never been hype like there is around the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
The world renowned manager took over from Rodgers officially last Friday, and has been training with the first-team this week.
With Lucas not involved in the Brazil squad he’s been one of the players involved in every Klopp training session, so has experienced him first-hand.
“So far, so good. Monday was our first day on the grass with the new manager in charge. It has been very positive,” Lucas told the official website.
“There is a lot of information and as players we need to listen a lot now, and learn and try to put everything he asks us to do onto the pitch and off the pitch as well. It has been very good, very positive and hopefully it will keep going like that.
“He seems to be very passionate – he likes to put in everything that he has and he asks the players for the same. Be very intense, be aggressive with yourself, is what he has been saying.
“Always try to be better, always give 10 metres more, because that will be the key to success. That is what he has been saying to us in the last couple of days.
“He seems to be a very open manager and someone that likes to be close to the players, but very straight as well. That’s what I’ve learned from the last couple of days and I think it was a positive way to start.”
“He was so successful at his last club, Borussia Dortmund. Of course, when a manager like him comes it always gives you a lot of hope.
“It’s a fresh start for every player. His CV is amazing. So I think everyone is really excited to learn with him and improve as a player and a team, because that’s the only way we will achieve what we want.
“I watch a lot of football, of course. The year they arrived in the Champions League final, I remember their games, especially against Manchester City in Manchester, where they were fantastic.
“We played against Dortmund when he was in charge as well. I watch a lot of football, so I know a little bit about what he wants the players to do.
“But, of course, working with him closely now will be even better. Hopefully, I’ll improve as a player. Everyone is looking forward to learning.”
It’ll be mighty interesting to see how Klopp deploys Lucas. The South American almost joined Besiktas in the summer, but has emerged as a starter this term due to injuries to Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson.
Klopp’s traditionally used a disciplined anchorman in a double-pivot midfield, and there’s no player who suits this role as well as Lucas. Henderson and James Milner roam too much, and Emre Can similarly likes to drive forward with the ball at his feet.
What is certain though is that the boss’s appointment has revitalised a squad that was becoming increasingly lethargic and confused under Rodgers.
“If we have the same success that Dortmund had when he was there, everyone will be happy. That’s why we’re really positive about it,” Lucas continued.
“It’s still early days; we have to listen a lot and try to pick up all of the information that he gives us as soon as possible. Then we’ll be able to put onto the pitch what he wants.”
“If you look at our position in the table, it’s not great. But we are not many points behind the top four and even the top. We still have the cups and the Europa League.
“It’s still early days in the season and we have a lot to play for. Hopefully, we’ll start very well under him and at the end of the season it’ll be a successful season for us.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone. Everyone is starting from zero really and everyone will have to prove that you deserve to be here and play for him.
“He said to us that he’s here because he believes in the team and the club, of course.
“We just have to make sure that we get all the information and try to adapt as soon as possible because as soon as we start to put together everything that he says, we have a better chance to succeed.”
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