Manager of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp opened up to former Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger on how his players have improved from good to great in a bid to emulate the former Arsenal manager’s 2003-04 Invincibles season
According to Daily Mail of UK, the two football icons met in Qatar.
Klopp’s Liverpool are yet to lose a game after the opening 21 games as they look set to win their first league title in 30 years and Klopp’s squad has been earmarked as the finest in Europe having lifted the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in recent months
Klopp admits that a number of his squad have had to reach new levels since joining the club in order to achieve the success they are getting now with Andy Robertson used as an example of a player ‘nobody wanted’.
‘(Andy) Robertson was sensational attacking but nobody wanted him
Andy) Robertson was sensational attacking but nobody wanted him because defending was not good,’ Klopp admitted, sitting down with Wenger for beIN Sports.
Now you see him now, you can learn defending. Joel Matip on a free transfer, nobody wanted him really. But you need to make good decisions because the other teams don’t sleep.’
Wenger was full of praise for Klopp’s ability to find faults in his squad when he arrived and replace them with world class talents.
Alisson Becker has improved the side as their No 1 goalkeeper and Virgil van Dijk arrived for £75million from Southampton and has since gone on to become a Ballon d’Or level player.
‘It was expensive of course,’ Klopp added.
‘For the right player, you have to pay it and it was an easy decision to say to the club ‘can we have him or not?’ We just have to be convinced and with these players (Alisson and Van Dijk) it was clear. They had that level already.
‘For Virgil, he played at Southampton and before that Celtic, but all the individual skills he had already.
He had to adapt to our style but other players came in like Mo Salah and play slightly different to how he played at Roma, Mane made steps from how he played at Southampton. They all had to make steps.’
Liverpool have managed to blow the rest of the competition out of the water and are 14 points clear of Manchester City, despite playing a game less.
For Wenger, Klopp has a ‘clear’ philosophy that has been integral to putting together a potentially record-breaking season.
‘He has a clear idea of what he wants to do and he can get from people what he wants to do,’ the former Arsenal manager said.
This is the same as if you give recipes to 10 d
‘You give the same training to 10 different people you have 10 different training sessions. Everybody has his way.
‘Why are some get what they want and some less? It is a mystery. He has been successful in Germany and now successful in England so that means he must have some qualities!’
When asked why he needed to build a squad capable of going an entire campaign unbeaten, Klopp pointed to the quality of the teams trying to hunt them down.
The German also believes that Wenger’s beloved Arsenal are not as far away from success as many may think.
‘Manchester City constantly bring in players, Leicester, now, are a really good team and made really smart decisions in the transfer market on top of what they already have,’ he continued.
‘Arsenal, for example, offensively are still a really good side but defensive organisation doesn’t work out yet.
The moment they sort that, they make the next step. So that is the league we are facing. We have to develop, it is not if we want to. We have to to be as successful as possible.’
Liverpool have 17 league games remaining to win the title and mirror Arsenal’s Invincibles.
They take on bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday and they are the only side to take a point off Liverpool so far this campaign.
Klopp’s side then face two tricky tests on the road against Wolves and West Ham, either side of a FA Cup fourth round trip to Shrewsbury Town.