Many managers would pick brilliant thunderbolts from distance or mazy solo runs when asked to name their favourite ever goal, but not Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool’s boss instead selected a team goal in which his players were all standing in the ‘perfect’ attacking position as to his instructions.
It was in 2010/11 when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund and Klopp takes up the story from here:
“Gotze took the ball to the right of the goal, squared it from the goal-line towards the penalty spot where Grosskreutz was standing. He could have taken a shot but he didn’t, he dummied, but he knew without looking that Kagawa would be completely free behind him, because that’s exactly what’s in our game plan. So Kevin let it run for Shinji, who passed the ball into the corner of the net..
“If the ball had hit the post, then Bender was there waiting for the tap in, also according to plan. The image of perfection. I watched it back and I was made up.
“It’s not possible to have your players better positioned in the penalty area than what happened in that moment. During a well-organised attack we always want at least three, but preferably four players in the opposition box, and at least two more on the edge of the area.”
This story encapsulates Klopp’s belief that football is a team game and that each player is a cog in an overall strategy.
It also shows his genius in being able to set up an attack in a way his side can carry it out on the pitch. Many managers do not make such intricate plans and prefer to allow players to express themselves – but Klopp sets out his teams to play exactly in the manner he wishes.
We’ve already seen some brilliant individual goals this term, with Coutinho and Jordan Henderson’s belters coming to mind, but with Klopp – it’s the simple goals he likes most – the ones which prove his team are working to a tee. We reckon he might have enjoyed Roberto Firmino’s opener verses Leicester the most, where an unselfish Daniel Sturridge run made space for the Brazilian to bag.