Sunday 18 August 2019

James Milner hails impact of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

James Milner is enjoying playing under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool
James Milner is enjoying playing under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

James Milner has hailed the impact made by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The Reds produced their most impressive performance since the German took charge last month as they swept Barclays Premier League title favourites Manchester City aside 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

It was a performance of high energy and constant pressing, in the Klopp style, from the outset and there was hardly any let-up in intensity throughout the 90 minutes.

Milner, who joined Liverpool from City in the summer, was sorry to see the man who signed him, Brendan Rodgers, leave so early in his Anfield career.

But, after spells at Leeds, Aston Villa and Newcastle, the 29-year-old has become used to such comings and goings.

The England international said: "I have had a silly amount of managers in my career. It is the hardest thing in football and I have been through it many times.

"A similar thing happened when I was at Newcastle - Bobby Robson, he lasted about three league games then he got the sack. It is unfortunate but it is football, it is the way things go, and we have got a top-class replacement in.

"I think every manager is different how they operate but he wants a reaction when we lose that ball and wants us to get after it quickly.

"He will tell you if you are not doing the right things, and that helps. He is in the game and you know he is there with you and wants you to do well. He knows you are going to make mistakes, and you will get a rocket, but he will come up to you afterwards and say well done.

"Every manager is different, and he is different to the old manager, but the longer we are together the better we will get."

Most of the damage was done by Liverpool in the opening 32 minutes as they forced an Eliaquim Mangala own goal and Brazilians Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino both struck.

Firmino was playing in the most advanced attacking role while two notable out-and-out strikers, fit-again Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke, were on the bench. How they now fit into the side after such a comprehensive win over vaunted opposition could be interesting.

Milner said: "I think that is a nice problem for the manager to have. I think any manager would take that problem, if players are playing well but he has got (other) players he feels he has to get in the team who are on the bench.

"That is what you need and every top team has - competition for places all over the field."

Milner's performance was one of his best for Liverpool since he left City, where he won four trophies, when his contract expired at the end of last season.

He said: "I was very fortunate to be in a position where if had stayed at Manchester City, or if I had moved to Liverpool I was going to be happy and in a good place. It was a decision I made. I felt it was time for a change and I am enjoying this new challenge."

PA Media

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