Ryan Babel has discussed the main differences between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola as Liverpool prepare to face Manchester City at Wembley tomorrow.
The two sides met as recently as last weekend and played out a 2-2 draw at the Etihad with the Dutchman unimpressed by the Reds’ showing in the opening third of the game.
“The first 30 minutes was not good from Liverpool’s side,” Babel told talkSPORT. “But they didn’t lose which is better.”
Klopp arrived at Liverpool back in 2015 with Guardiola following him from the Bundesliga to the Premier League in 2016.
The pair have been hugely successful in England, albeit with very different methods and styles of play, something that our former winger was keen to point out.
The Dutch forward said: “The main differences were in my opinion, Klopp’s playing style. Even though he, of course, wants to play good football with Liverpool, at times it was very direct.
“Three passes and they were in front of the goal, with Guardiola he was clearly like ‘OK no, I want you guys to play and pass and with passing reach the goal and try to score’.
“You could see at that time it was two different types of styles and opponents and it was definitely difficult to compete with as a Fulham side at the time.”
Our former No.19 was also keen to highlight that Guardiola has been operating with a lot more money at City compared to the money on offer for the former Borussia Dortmund boss at Anfield.
He explained: “[Klopp] of course also has had his budget but I don’t think you can completely compare it to what City have been able to spend over the past decade.
“Also knowing the moment where he stepped in, where Liverpool was at that time, how he was able to change that in a relatively very short time.
“It’s not a given that a good coach or any coach can naturally change a team, we see now Man United struggling for some time now and they have had a lot of good coaches trying it so it’s a combination of a little bit of luck and support to be able to turn things around.”
Klopp has had money to spend so it would be unreasonable to claim he hasn’t been backed, but we certainly don’t splash the cash out as much as the Sky Blues.
In regards to tomorrow’s clash, Guardiola will be sweating on the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker after the pair picked up knocks in their goalless draw with Atletico in the week, but the ex-Barcelona boss refused to rule the pair out of the game.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Let’s hope it’s Jurgen that comes out on top tomorrow to book our spot in the final – the FA Cup is the one trophy that he’s yet to win for the Reds.