Pochettino does homework on Klopp methods

Liverpool players will need time to learn and adapt to play the Klopp (left) way, says Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Liverpool players will need time to learn and adapt to play the Klopp (left) way, says Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino believes that Juergen Klopp's biggest task at Liverpool will be to persuade his new players to accept his pressing style of football.

Pochettino twice battled hard to instil a similar high-tempo philosophy after taking charge of Southampton and Tottenham, who host Liverpool in Klopp's first game in charge today.

The Argentinian said it can take longer than expected for players to adapt to ideas, and Klopp will also need to respect Liverpool's traditions and expectations.

"You need to convince the players so that they believe in your philosophy and your ideas," he said.

"Then, you need to know the culture, the different mentality, and it is a different football in England.


  • Expectations are high at Liverpool following Juergen Klopp's appointment as manager. But the German is facing a tough start in the Premier League. His first five fixtures are all against sides in the top 10, including champions Chelsea, current leaders Manchester City and fourth-placed Crystal Palace.

    Today: Tottenham (away)
    Next Sunday: Southampton (home)
    Oct 31: Chelsea (a)
    Nov 8: Crystal Palace (h)
    Nov 21: Manchester City (a)

  • How Klopp's predecessors fared in their opening five league games

    Manager  Win/Draw/Lose
    Roy Evans  1/1/3
    Gerard Houllier  2/0/3
    Rafael Benitez  2/1/2
    Roy Hodgson  1/2/2
    Kenny Dalglish  3/1/1
    Brendan Rodgers  0/2/3

  • Welcome to England's top flight

    In Premier League history, managers making their debuts have won just 29.2 per cent of the time. They have drawn 26.2 per cent of the matches and lost almost half of them (44.6 per cent).

"When you are a manager like Klopp, who reached the final of the Champions League, you have the skill to realise things.

"He knows he is at a big club. Liverpool have a lot of expectation. If you come here, maybe you need to bring something better."

Work-rate and aggressive pressing were the cornerstones of Klopp's reign at Dortmund whom he led to two Bundesliga titles.

He is likely to find hard workers like James Milner, who has covered more ground (99.9km) than any other player in the Premier League.

However, it remains to be seen where Milner will play, particularly when Jordan Henderson returns from injury.

Milner had been given a central role by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Klopp, who likes his wide players to be exceptionally fit, could utilise Milner on the right.

The German has already lost Danny Ings, who is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee ligament injury in training on Wednesday.

Teenage defender Joe Gomez also suffered a similar injury the day before and the new manager will also be without Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino.

Pochettino, too, must contend with injured players Son Heung Min, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb while Eric Dier is suspended.

Spurs have lost their last five league games against Liverpool but Pochettino has been doing his homework on Klopp.

"We can use the information because, in the last few months, Liverpool have played in different ways and changed the system," he said.

"How we analyse Dortmund and the way Klopp played, it's similar concepts that we can take.

"We have some references - the first half against Arsenal, they played in a similar style he played with Dortmund last season.

"We have a lot of resources. But in the end, the truth is Saturday and how they put in place his ideas."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2015, with the headline 'Pochettino does homework on Klopp methods'. Print Edition | Subscribe