Rio Ferdinand says he learned some things about Jurgen Klopp after talking with the Liverpool boss this weekend. He can see why he’s successful.
Rio Ferdinand got the opportunity to talk with Jurgen Klopp on Saturday. The former Manchester United defender was at Anfield to cover Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea.
And Ferdinand says that he ‘can see why’ players like Klopp. Even with just a brief chat, the German’s character was on full display.
“I spoke to him at the weekend – I was on the game for BT – and it was actually good talking to him, you know that?” Ferdinand told his YouTube channel. “He’s got a really good character, good way about him.
“You can see why players enjoy playing for him.”
Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool
Klopp’s ability to win people over is sensational, really, and an enormous part of why he’s been such a successful manager. Saturday was his 1000th game in management – and he’s far from done.
The backbone of every side has been the connection with players as people. Klopp commands respect from his players but not through a fierce authority. Instead, they listen because they want to.
Ferdinand experienced that character in one conversation and that about sums up how quickly Klopp can get on with someone. Beyond tactics and transfers, it’s how he’s gotten so much from this Liverpool side.
Now comes the tricky bit, admittedly. Klopp needs to move past the relationships he’s built within this Liverpool squad and rebuild it. That’s something he’s never really done before – Klopp left Dortmund before embarking on a major rebuild.
Funnily enough, it’s very similar to Bill Shankly’s time in charge. Shankly built a sensational Liverpool team on his charisma and character, above all. But when the time came to move players on and essentially break those relationships, he struggled badly.
Eventually, Shankly did it and built another title-winning side before handing things over to Bob Paisley. But it took a lot out of him – he didn’t even deliver bad news to some players personally, unable to bring him to do it.
Klopp now faces the same task and it won’t be an easy one for a manager who’s sparked such a fantastic relationship with his side.