Jurgen Klopp’s first interview as Liverpool manager suggests something special is about to happen at Anfield.
Klopp on Thursday discussed with LiverpoolFC.com why he chose the Reds, his immediate plans for the team and what fans can expect from his side. Klopp’s wide-ranging interview offered hope for a bright and successful future under the 48-year-old German.
Owners Fenway Sports Group scored a goal in luring Klopp to Anfield. Klopp said the passion for soccer that exists in Liverpool drove his decision to choose the Reds, as was the synergy between his and the directors’ vision for the club.
“I love football, and the intensity of football in Liverpool is very good for me,” Klopp said. “I always thought about working in England because of the kind of football and the intensity of the football, and Liverpool was first choice. Now I have got the opportunity to work here, it?s the best thing I can imagine.
“It was not the most difficult decision,” he continued. “The owners have a dream and I have a dream, and so there was not too much they had to say so I could be here.”
The squad Klopp inherits has endured great difficulty in the last year. Liverpool struggled through the end of last season and currently sits 10th in the Premier League standings after eight games. Yet that didn’t sour Klopp on the current group of players.
Klopp said the talent at his disposal also attracted him to what he jokingly described as “the biggest challenge in world football” — returning Liverpool to the ranks of the Premier League and European elite.
“It’s good, it’s good,” Klopp said of his squad. “I’m here because I believe in the potential of the team. I want these guys (the current squad), it was a decision for these guys. Now we start working.”
Klopp revealed he’ll have the final say on transfers. While pundits outside of the club heavily debated the topic this week, Klopp says the issue was a sidenote during his negotiations with the club.
“It was absolutely no problem between FSG and myself, we talked about this,” Klopp said. “The only thing for me is to have the first and last word. Nobody wants to transfer a player without my ?yes.? So everything is OK, I don?t need more.”
Klopp’s Dortmund teams captivated the public with their high-tempo style of play. He said he’ll have time to fully implement his “wild” style, and his first order of business is firming up the Reds’ defense.
“The first thing, always, maybe in life, you need to have a stable defense,” he said. “If it’s possible, can we be the hardest team to beat in the world? Let’s try to be this. If you are this, it’s not that far away to be a team who can win games.
“The kind of football (I coach) is emotional, I like this, I like the emotion in the game.”
Klopp’s message to the fans tells them what they need to know about the scale of the challenge they face, the timetable and the best way of going about it together.
“We have to change from doubter to believer. Now,” he said.
Day zero isn’t even finished, but Klopp already is making a splash.
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com