Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool spirit 'similar' to what he created at Borussia Dortmund
Jurgen Klopp believes he has taken strides in importing to Liverpool the spirit that took Borussia Dortmund to the German title.
Over a year into his reign, Klopp’s imprint is now all over Anfield on and off the pitch. Last week’s Christmas party at Merseyside’s plush Formby Hall was not just a team affair, with all Melwood staff on the invitation.
There was only one demand from the Liverpool manager when he addressed the room. No-one was allowed to go home before 1am.
Klopp is a manager who takes the ‘work hard, play hard’ mantra to the ultimate extreme, and although he is loathe to make direct comparisons with his former club – where he won the Bundesliga twice – his intention is to leave the same legacy.
“I am not sure I should compare but it is another nice situation,” said Klopp.
“I am still in contact with a lot of the Dortmund players and hopefully I will be in contact after my time at Liverpool with these players. But they are not here because they are nice lads, they are outstanding footballers and I love working with them and really appreciate them.
“We have an atmosphere at Melwood which is as good as it should be because of all the people working here. We had our Christmas party last week and it was really nice having all the people around, it is was big difference after one year when you know all of them. After three months I still had no idea the name of certain staff. We have a completely different situation to last year. It is not the same but similar to what we had at Dortmund.”
Liverpool face Stoke at Anfield as they begin their hectic period of fixtures, the end of which will provide further clues as to whether their title challenge is sustainable.
Although Klopp remains hopeful of adding players in January, he also has his eye on the longer-term knowing some of his youngsters such as Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold will become more regular first team players over the next 18 months.
“We are quite sensitive with this,” said Klopp. “Too much of this, too much of that, always kills quality. It is good to compete for a position you want to have but if there is absolutely no chance (of being selected) it kills development that is for sure.
“A transfer should not be a solution only for the winter. Squad building obviously is a very important and sensitive thing.”
Liverpool are still without Phlippe Coutinho and Ragnar Klavan remains on standby to deputise for Joel Matip who has an ankle injury. Daniel Sturridge is back in contention after his impressive cameo in the Merseyside derby.