Klopp hints at rest after Liverpool run

German needs a year's break to recharge as he moulds Reds into his energetic likeness

BERLIN • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said yesterday he expects to take a break from coaching to recharge his batteries once his term at the reigning European champions ends.

Klopp, who joined Liverpool in 2015 and has a contract till 2022, led the club to the Champions League title last season while finishing a close second to Manchester City in the Premier League.

"I have absolute energy. But I have one problem. I can't do 'a little bit'. I can only do 'all or nothing'," he told Germany's Kicker magazine.

"When I decide that I cannot do it any longer, then I will take a break for a year," added the 52-year-old, who has also been repeatedly linked with Bayern Munich and the German national team.

He joined Liverpool after a successful time at Borussia Dortmund, where he won two league titles and a German Cup while also reaching the 2013 Champions League final.

Liverpool, who have not won their domestic league since 1990, are top of the table with maximum points from three games, two ahead of title rivals City.

GO BIG OR GO HOME

I have absolute energy. But I have one problem. I can't do 'a little bit'. I can only do 'all or nothing'.

JURGEN KLOPP , Liverpool manager, on why he needs to take a break.

Victory in the Premier League combined with last season's Champions League crown would instantly turn Klopp into the most successful Reds coach in decades.

"After that year (break), a decision must then be taken," he said. "But chances are very high that my energy level will then be there once more and that I can then do the job the way I want to."

Klopp is known for his passion and energy on the sidelines and it has translated into the intensity of Liverpool's play.

Talk of the "Liverpool way" long preceded his appointment but, much as the club have been rejuvenated since his arrival, so has an ethos been reinvented.

"Our identity is intensity," said the German.

Gerard Houllier and Rafael Benitez, who preached control, may not recognise this variant of Liverpool but, more than most, Arsenal can testify to the effectiveness of Klopp's energetic makeover.

That Liverpool had 25 shots and 49 touches in the Arsenal penalty area in the Reds' 3-1 defeat of the Gunners suggested this could have been another hiding.

"The problem was our movements in the box were not clear enough," said Klopp. "That's why we maybe couldn't create enough chaos in the box, but with 80 per cent of the game, I am completely happy."

If pressing, as he once said, is the best playmaker, creativity comes from chaos, invention from exhaustion.

"They are a fantastic team when they have rhythm," said Arsenal's David Luiz, before arrowing in on the same word: "They play with intensity. They never stop."

Klopp added: "The tempo we put from the beginning was incredible, really incredible.

"There was no time to breathe."

In the summer of 2022, the German might just find time to do so, much to Liverpool's dismay.

REUTERS, GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2019, with the headline 'Klopp hints at rest after Liverpool run'. Print Edition | Subscribe