In a previous article I’ve mentioned Jamie Carragher thinking Liverpool could have an advantage in the Premier League title race due to lack of European football. There would be continuity of team selection as less games means squad rotation kept to a minimum. Without travel to European destinations it would also mean more time on the training ground.
Jurgen Klopp has now come out and stated that continuity of team selection has played a large part in his side’s impressive start.
Such an impressive start has had Klopp’s stars placed as 2nd favourites to win the league. Which he has played down. Asking people to ‘keep their money’.
“At this moment, Liverpool feels good. We had this very important game against Hull and we did it in a really impressive way.”
“It’s nice to see the table, but the problem is the number, it is 6 games now so it’s not early stage which is the only problem. I’m happy about this but I know there is a long way to go.”
Continuity of team selection
It would have been too easy for Klopp to have ripped up the team sheet and started again. But he knew we weren’t too far away. Just minor tweaks were needed not wholesale changes.
“We thought about what could fit in. The big difference between us and the rest of the people in the Liverpool world was that everyone thought we should change a lot of the team.”
“We changed a few things but not a lot. Most of the players who performed most of the time last year are still here. That’s what we want to build on. We brought a few things in, that’s true. A few new skills. But it’s all about the base that we already had.”
Not getting carried away
Naturally the ‘normal one’ won’t be getting carried away. Often highlighting areas for improvement as frequently as praise.
“Until now it has been a pretty good start. A few ups and not that many downs. We are far away from Christmas.”
“It’s only because I know nothing has happened by now. What would change if I say now, ‘Wow what we did in the first half I never saw in my life’ – which by the way is not the truth.”
Rather acknowledging the longevity of the campaign
“After Christmas there’s January, February, March, April, May and then it stops right… so it’s a long, long, long race.”
“I never saw in any race that if you have to run 20km that after 5km you are celebrating. It makes no sense. I’m happy with the performance and I know about the need to carry on and keep on going. I’m fine, I’m really fine but I know there’s a lot of work to do still.”
Klopp on title ambitions
“Of course we want to win (the title), I don’t know when it will happen, but all I can say is that we will do our all for it if we are not too far away from the teams which battle for the title.”
His goal in football is to be memorable. To play football that his team will remember when they watch it back on TV.
“That’s how it is and I think that’s what you have to do in life, use the time you have together to create some moments which you really can enjoy and when you look back, you think ‘they were maybe a few of the best moments I ever had.”