Liverpool Football Club’s pre-season this summer is likely to be a very “decisive period,” according to Reds boss Jürgen Klopp.
The day when the first of the Reds reconvene upon Melwood for their first pre-season training sessions before others join up in the following days – or in Emre Can’s case, weeks.
The period is vital for football managers all across Europe to start bedding in new players, implement new tactics and formations and get players back up to scratch fitness-wise.
For Jürgen Klopp, it’s clearly a very important period.
“Apart from the games during the season, it’s the most important thing and it has a big influence on the games. You create a base for the whole year,” he said when talking to LiverpoolFC.com.
“This game is a players’ game and the players’ game means they need to know what the other guy is thinking. You learn all of this in the pre-season. Of course, you learn in the season – you fine-tune – but the better the basis you can create, the better the season will be, 100 percent.”
Last pre-season Klopp took the Reds away on a training camp in the United States, pushing his squad to the limit as they trained up to three times a day in the summer heat in a bid to ready themselves as best they could for the upcoming season. The camps also help the squad to bond and grow closer, giving new signings a chance to bed in and get to know their new teammates.
“That’s why you go to training camps, usually, because they are then altogether 24 hours (a day). Having breakfast, lunch and dinner together, spare time together and all that stuff.
“It’s very important. You can ask each new player who came in last year how he felt on his first day and the day after the camp or after pre-season, that’s a very decisive period. The closer you can get in this period, the better it is.
“I really love the sessions. There should be a 100 percent difference between the first day of pre-season and the last day. We really want to see big, big progress.”
The Reds first pre-season fixtures are friendly matches against Tranmere (July 12) and Wigan (July 14) before they jet off to Hong Kong for games against Crystal Palace and one of West Brom/Leicester.
Upon returning to England, the squad then jet off to Germany to play a friendly against Hertha Berlin (July 29) before taking part in the Audi Cup (August 1 and 2).
Pre-season concludes with one final friendly against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin exactly a week before their first Premier League match of the season – an away trip to Watford.