Joel Matip on defending for Jürgen Klopp

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Joel Matip and Dominic Solanke in Hong Kong.
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Joel Matip has opened up about how Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp likes his defenders to go about doing their job out on the pitch. 

Joel Matip has revealed what Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp likes to see from his defenders and detailed the basics of the German’s direct, counter-pressing system. The Cameroonian was an ever-present in Klopp’s back four last season and adapted to his manager’s high octane style of player quickly and efficiently.

Speaking to ESPN, Matip opened up about how Klopp has individual jobs for each and every player on the field but also, how this is only beneficial to the press when all eleven players are working as a collective unit.

“Klopp knows what he wants from every player – fast, counter-pressing with direct attacks but also a clean, structured build up with specific positional play,” Matip begins.

“Of course, if we lose the ball, the first step is towards the ball, not back to defend at our box. We are defending very high. It begins with the strikers, who run up to the opponent and cover a lot of distance which allows us defenders to play very high too.”

Moving away from the manager’s tactical mindset, the big Cameroonian defender was asked to describe his eccentric manager in one word – a task evidently easier said than done!

“It’s hard to describe Klopp’s aura,” Matip said.

“He is very affable, yet direct. Even when there is something wrong, he is very straight with you but in a cordial manner.

“He’s straight but cordial – it’s hard to say that in one word!”

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