Jurgen Klopp believes he’s a better manager after this season. Liverpool likely didn’t think that was possible.
What a season this has been for Jurgen Klopp. He’s witnessed plan after plan after plan fall before his eyes thanks to an injury crisis.
It’s been a long, long time since he put out his best XI. In fact, he likely won’t get to use it once this season.
That’s a bizarre situation and one that would challenge any manager. Klopp agrees and he insists he’s now a better manager thanks to it.
“This year we have faced completely new problems,” he told Sky Sports. “I have never in my life – and I have been doing the job for 20 years – had to change the last line every week.
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“I am a much better manager this season than I was before because usually, you are not having to think about these things but now I am having to think about them constantly.
“We had a situation on Friday night. We trained all week, or the few days that we had to train, with one specific line-up and then overnight we had to change it completely.
“That is another big thing to do that is common in football but we have had it plenty of times.”
What RTK has to say
We buy it. Klopp has effectively had to build a winning side without any consistency or rhythm. That’s incredibly difficult.
Virtually every top side ever relied on those two things. Liverpool certainly did last year.
Klopp played his first-choice XI nearly every week as the Reds steamrolled teams. And it meant that Liverpool always knew themselves front to back.
Players knew exactly how to play with one another, exactly what movements they’d made and what everyone wanted to do. That’s a level of cohesion that few have.
Liverpool have had none of that this season. Not only is the first-XI now different, Klopp has to change it every game. That will, naturally, make him a better manager.
This season hasn’t been easy but, hopefully, this is one massive positive we can take from it.