Saturday 15 December 2018

Jurgen Klopp dusts down an old Arsene Wenger cliché as he sums up 'success' for Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ready for a vital clash against Tottenham on Sunday. Photo: PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ready for a vital clash against Tottenham on Sunday. Photo: PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted a top four finish in the Premier League would represent a successful season for the club, despite their early exits in both domestic cup competitions.

While Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was often ridiculed for claiming fourth place was akin to a trophy in England's top flight, Klopp has now echoed those sentiments ahead of his side's crucial game against Tottenham at Anfield.

Liverpool's FA Cup defeat against West Bromwich Albion last weekend came after a shock defeat at Swansea in the Premier League, yet Klopp believes this weekend's game against Tottenham could propel them towards a top four finish.

"Top four, for sure, is a success," declared Klopp, who won the Bundlesliga title twice as Borussia Dortmund coach.

"When you start a season, you can dream of something and you have to make a realistic target as well. I think being champion is probably the dream, not only at Liverpool, but especially at Liverpool.

"Because of the season City is playing, that is quite difficult. Then I would prefer to be second if you cannot be first. But if you are second, third or fourth at the end of the season, when you look back all three positions are good and similarly difficult to reach.

"Arsenal are not out of it. Tottenham is behind all of us at the moment, but only a couple of points. So it is tough to be top four. This game against Spurs is big for us."

Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino will meet again at Anfield on Sunday

Klopp went on to praise Tottenham's success under Mauricio Pochettino, as he hinted stability on and off the pitch was helping to establish them as top four regulars in the Premier League.

"That they can keep their squad together for so long is a big sign to be honest," he added. "Harry Kane is still there, even though the whole world is going nuts transfer wise.

"I think if someone has too much money or more than enough then it would make sense to ask, ‘Don’t you want to play for our team?’ He is obviously an outstanding top level since I was in England at least.

"Dele Alli is not the same season as last season but still the highest quality, (Christian) Eriksen constantly good. They are just a good side and they are still together.

"The whole world buys players from everywhere, but no one buys one player from Tottenham. Maybe they don’t want to go. You can imagine working together helps a lot. With these players and the age group, the players are closer to 20 than 30, that is a very very interesting project."

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