While Gary McAllister and Sean O’Driscoll lost their jobs upon Jurgen Klopp’s appointment, Liverpool decided to keep talented young coach Pep Lijnders as part of the backroom staff.
And the former Ajax and FC Porto youth coach has discussed his new boss’s methods, and how Klopp believes Liverpool should be playing (and winning) football matches.
“I think the main goal that’s difficult to see in the stadium, difficult to see for the fans, is how we move when we have the ball when we are attacking,” the young Dutchman said, cited in the Echo.
“The fact that we are organised [and have] what we call attacking balance [means] that we are ready whenever we lose the ball.
“We can win it back as quickly as possible and we can apply aggressive pressure because we have enough bodies around it when we are playing.
“It’s difficult to see in the stadium but our balance is getting better and better in terms of when we are attacking.
“So we are thinking defensively when we are attacking and the other way around as well of course because of the counter-press.
“The moment we lose it we apply aggressive pressure, you see that, everybody wants that.
“That’s a good thing because it makes sure we stay high up the pitch and that’s where we want to play.
“[Fans want to see] Liverpool dominating the game in the opponent’s half, not defending the goal but defending our mid-line.
“The third aspect that you see is [opposition teams] play longer.
“We apply a press in the 4-3-2-1 system and, because it’s so aggressive, the fighting for the second ball is crucial in that part.”
Klopp’s tactics have been discussed heavily in the media since he moved to England, and gegenpressing probably has an outside chance of entering the English dictionary at its current rate of usage!
But during the German’s first three matches, we’ve only seen glimpses of what he’s trying to create, leading Jamie Carragher to criticise the boss at half-time during the weekend’s draw, via the Mirror.
“He’s come in with the idea of heavy metal football, but for two-and-a-half games Liverpool have been playing like a church choir,” our former centre-back said.
Carragher’s right in that the intensity and aggression has perhaps been a little below what we’d hoped for, but we need to give the manager time to instil his beliefs into a set of players low on confidence from a calendar year of poor results. Against Bournemouth on Wednesday night they’ll have another chance to impress Klopp and a set of supporters desperate for excitement.