Neven Subotic recalled a time when Jurgen Klopp faced the difficult task of hitting the reset button on his struggling Dortmund side, on one occasion resorting to slapping a player, as reported by The Athletic.
The German builds close relationships with his players, wherever he goes, cultivating close-knit squads epitomised by a collective mentality; though, that doesn’t stop the manager from making himself heard when necessary.
“If it was necessary, Klopp upped the volume,” the Serbian said. “He shook us up a bit, to wake us up. Not by saying: ‘You have to play something different, boys, it’ll be tough’.”
“No, he went up to a player and slapped him across the face,” Subotic added. “You think: ‘Oh, he might slap him back’.”
The recollection is one that might bring forth a chuckle or two, but its a sound reminder, as Honigstein aptly notes, that there is no compromise as far as Klopp’s beliefs go.
You’d be hard-pressed to challenge the 53-year-old, given how his “no ifs or buts” approach has led to much success at his current and prior club, completely transforming sleeping giants into formidable, competitive European sides.
Now, we’re not saying that every Liverpool player needs a manual reset in the form of a sharp right-hook to the jaw, but we could do with looking at past examples to see how the boss will try to ease the club out of its current rut.
There’s no questioning the bond the players share with Klopp, but we can rest assured that these close relationships won’t get in the way of him telling the lads what’s what, so to speak!
Hopefully, it’ll produce a notable reaction in our upcoming tie with Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.