“I knew it would be hard to reject Liverpool if they came knocking. I have always liked Liverpool. This is just how I have always imagined football should be, extremely emotional. It is now all about developing this club and ensure we come in a position we can win trophies again. Everything we win on the way to that stage is an added bonus. That’s the plan.”
Jurgen Klopp spoke to the media ahead of his side’s trip to Wales to face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium this weekend in the Saturday early kick-off, but also revealed some long-term plans as he discussed his retirement plans:
“There will come a day where I decide it has been enough. I would say it is very, very unlikely that I will still be coaching at the age of 60… And if Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool turn out to be the only three clubs I have coached at the end my career, at least it has been with great clubs.”
Liverpool fans will be hoping that he will see out his career at Anfield, particularly after the blinding start that the Reds have enjoyed in the German’s first full season at the club in his new look dugout. When Brendan Rodgers was dismissed last summer many saw it as unrealistic that they would be able to tempt Klopp to the club, but he revealed that he couldn’t turn the job down and has bags of ambition with his latest club:
His team have already been making the first steps towards realising such ambitions as they have started the season well, with only a shock defeat at Turf Moor blemishing an almost perfect record to date as the Reds have emerged as surprise contenders for a title challenge. Klopp wants his side to keep their feet grounded though and is ensuring that nobody gets carried away, saying:
“In this part of the season you create a base for the rest of the season. We have a job to do. We need to stay fit and have luck. It’s been a good start but we have to build on it.”
Fans will be pleased to hear some realism despite the hype and excitement of the last few weeks and will only be assured that Klopp is the perfect man for the job as he build a side to suit his style.
However, it remains unclear if Mamadou Sakho will be a part of that team for long as the Frenchman continues to be on the outskirts of the first team. Sakho was given a lifeline in midweek as he played for the club’s under 23 side against their Wolfsburg counterparts, following a social media rant criticising his manager and the club in the early hours of Saturday morning ahead of his teammates victory over Hull City. Klopp insisted that the door is open to Sakho now, saying:
“Work hard is the rule for every player. I spoke to Mama and now we carry on.”
Sakho has become something of a cult hero at Anfield, but fans will not tolerate his reported poor behaviour which has led to his exclusion under Klopp. Given the fans belief in the German boss, he may be the only man who comes above the Frenchman in terms of fan favouritism.
The boss also turned his attentions to the trip to Swansea as he revealed that the Reds could be without one of their first choice strikers, as he revealed that Divock Origi may not be fit enough to take a place on the bench as he has in recent weeks:
“It’s been a normal training week. Divock Origi got a knock on his foot. We need to do more assessments. Nothing major.”
Klopp was also keen to point out that this season’s trip to the Liberty Stadium is very different to the trip in May, where Andre Ayew and Jack Cork gave the Swans a 3-1 victory. A weakened line-up took to the field with Europa League distractions on the cards at the time, and it seems likely that only three players will start the game this weekend that also started in May as Klopp hinted that revenge is on the cards:
“We had to make a lot of changes v Swansea last season. In that moment it was too much for us. Now we have no excuses. We have time to recover, time to prepare and time to analyse. We try to show that every week.”
Despite that, the former Dortmund boss was supportive of his opposite number as Francesco Guidolin comes under increasing pressure as Bob Bradley and Ryan Giggs have been linked with his job as he speaks of his fears that he may lose his job if the Swans fall to defeat this weekend. The German said:
“They have played better than having 4pts looks like. They have different options with their style of play. We will be prepared for this game. We know about the quality of Swansea. We lost there last year after coming back from Villarreal.”
There is certainly no way that Liverpool will be taking Swansea lightly this time, but Klopp will ensure that his side are at the top of their game as they seek another vital three points as they apply pressure at the top of the table.
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