Djimi Traore won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, but he ended up playing for eight more sides during a playing career that saw him at Charlton, Monaco and Seattle Sounders!
And it is with the MLS side he is now, working as assistant manager to Brian Schmetzer. Traore though has explained how he’s using the example Jurgen Klopp sets tactically to help improve his side.
“For example, one weakness of our first team, even the second team, is the way we press. Sometimes I think it’s not well organised,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“When we see Liverpool, the way they press and some of the triggers, when they start to press, that’s what we can maybe copy and maybe apply. I think it’s good.
“Football has evolved. Back in time, I don’t think you saw that many teams try to play out from the back, it was maybe more direct. Now I think everyone wants to play out from the back and be like a possession-based team.
“You can see Liverpool work a lot on it. Klopp and his coaching staff are very smart and you can see their high level.”
In fairness, if there’s any side to copy on planet football right now, it’s Klopp’s Liverpool!
Off the ball, the team has strict positional instructions to close passing lanes and follow runners, but on it – the fullbacks can bomb forward and help the rampant front-three – while the midfield hold a defensive platform centrally in case of turnovers.
When Klopp first started coaching in England, his ‘pressing’ was analysed fairly simply – as if all the Reds just chased the ball ferociously – but it’s so much more complex than that.
And as the team has developed, we usually save the intense pressing for big matches against sides who pass short – as it’s less effective to the long ball.