‘When he enters a room…’ – Jorg Schmadtke shares insight in what it was like to work with Klopp

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Jorg Schmadtke has given an insight on what it was like to work with Jurgen Klopp during their brief period together at Liverpool.

The 59-year-old took over as sporting director last summer but vacated the post a month ago, having only intended to come in on a short-term basis, but that was still enough time for him to be wowed by the impact that the manager makes behind the scenes.

In an interview with Die Zeit, Schmadtke said of the Reds’ legendary coach: “He has special abilities. When he enters a room with four tired people sitting at the table, he recharges them. After a few minutes they are fit again and full of energy. It’s quite amazing.

“He is an exception when it comes to signing new players. If a transfer is not possible, then he accepts it and falls in love with another player. I really appreciated that; there aren’t many coaches who can do that.

“This gift made our collaboration easier. Unlike the clubs in Germany, in Liverpool I was responsible for the transfers, but I mainly worked with Jurgen. I stopped everyone from knocking on his door. I no longer wanted to be part of the change process that began with the new coach.”

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Anyone who’s watched Liverpool over the past eight years will have seen the energy that Klopp exudes on the touchline and the indelible rapport that he has with the Anfield faithful, so it’s no surprise to hear Schmadtke outlining how the 56-year-old is similarly uplifting behind the scenes.

The Reds manager lives off the buzz that a successful matchday generates, so for him to declare that his decision to leave in the summer is due to him losing the spark that he feels he once had was quite the bombshell and, five weeks on, still seems hard to take in.

It’s a special quality of a person to be able to walk into a room and instantly transform the mood of those within it by his/her presence alone, and that is what Klopp’s successor will have to try and emulate.

It was also telling that Schmadtke spoke of how his fellow countryman wouldn’t rock the boat when Anfield chiefs are unable to acquire his preferred transfer targets – a stark contrast with the likes of Antonio Conte who publicly go to war when there’s a difference of views in market strategy.

Treasure every moment that we have with Jurgen until he steps aside at the end of May. It could be a long, long time before we see his like again.

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