Klopp explains why he kept Liverpool squad small
When your team looks as good as any in the world, it’s easy for your words to appear sprung from a font of wisdom.
So perhaps we shouldn’t rush to apologize to Jurgen Klopp after some -- read: this writer -- questioned his decision not to add some more pieces to Liverpool’s title chase ahead of this Premier League season.
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It’s why he famously played down the summer transfer window while many were demanding depth additions to overcome Man City.
Klopp explained his desire to keep a small squad during a sprawling, sometimes salty interview with James Pearce for The Athletic, saying a 22- or 23-deep roster becomes too difficult to manage over a long season.He also said the key to keeping the players in the right frame of mind is by not having favorites, not treating Mohamed Salah any different than, say, Xherdan Shaqiri. Again, that’s probably not entirely true given megawatt personalities, but the idea of attempting to do so is something at which Klopp is proving adept.
“How do I keep them motivated? I treat them all the same, 100 per cent. You score four goals or no goals, for me you are the same person. When we talk about football it’s easier for me to speak with the guy who scored four goals, but on a personal level they’re all the same for me.
“I like them all a lot — that’s why they are all here. It’s not that anyone has forced me to get around with these guys. They are all wonderful, different but wonderful. I like being around them. Hopefully, they know that and they feel that.”
Now the Reds have also needed to face down minimal injuries this early season aside from Alisson’s ailment. That’s something that costs teams points regardless of their attitude, but Klopp’s approach is an ideal one... and it may be a massive part of Liverpool’s first ever Premier League title.
Losing several players is going to tax teams -- See: City, Manchester -- a lot even if their coach is keeping everyone happy, but it’s almost impossible to come away unimpressed from a long interview with Klopp.
It’s a must-read. Check it out here.