Kop Klopp’s Kilometers – In Depth Analysis On Liverpool Under Klopp

Written by Football Ticket Pad

We all know that the Premier League season is a marathon, not a sprint. However, Liverpool appear to one of the early pace setters playing some scintillating football under Jurgen Klopp, making Liverpool tickets one of the most in demand right now at Football Ticket Pad.

Gary Lineker famously said at Italia ‘90:  “Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” Sixteen years later, this may well be the case at Anfield. Liverpool have been putting in the hard yards under their German boss Jurgen Klopp, both on and off the pitch. Not only are the the Reds challenging at the top of Premier League table, but they are top of the table in terms of distance covered so far this season, brushing aside some of their Premier League rivals along the way.

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Liverpool have set off at a blistering pace. Despite an early slip up against Burnley, the reds have sealed victories away from home against both Arsenal and Chelsea. Liverpool also top the rankings when it comes to sprint’s made this season. On average, Liverpool run over 116 kilometers per game which stand testament to manager Jurgen Klopp’s methodology which revolves around his widely known ‘Gegenpressing’ – a counter-pressing style which relies on players being expected to be highly fit, and cover a lot of ground winning the ball back in advanced areas of the pitch.

Klopp incorporated a rigorous training regime for his players in pre-season to adapt to his requirements, which has also seen the arrival of new fitness and conditioning coach, Andreas Kornmayer to Melwood after a successful 15 year stint with Bayern Munich. Triple training sessions were the recipe in pre-season and the hard work is starting to bear fruit on Merseyside. This is one of the main factors which has changed at Liverpool and the whole club appears to be singing from the same hymn sheet after one year with Jurgen Klopp at the helm.

Liverpool have been extremely impressive so far this season. The early signs look good for Liverpool after recording away victories at Chelsea, Arsenal, drawing against the much-fancied Tottenham at White Hart Lane and a home win against the reigning champions, Leicester City.  Since Klopp’s first game in charge, Liverpool matches  have seen more Premier League goals scored than any others, which adds to the excitement when purchasing Liverpool football tickets, especially at the redeveloped Anfield this season.

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Football is a team game, but if we look at some individuals in particular we can see the effort and work rate required to fit into a Jurgen Klopp philosophy. For example, Adam Lallana set a Premier League record when he covered 12.5 km against Spurs in October and he appears to be thriving under Klopp in an advanced attacking role, however the defensive duties required are perhaps more desired for the system to work effectively and must not be underestimated.

Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino amassed an impressive 86 sprints against West Bromwich Albion in October. Not only does Firmino bring the associated Brazilian tricks, flicks and flair, he has the work-rate and industrial nous to go with it. The £29 million signing from Hoffenheim arrived at the club in June 2015 as an attacking midfielder and appears to have finally found his feet in a new ‘false 9’ role at Anfield. This season he has provided much needed flexibility and has been deployed as a high pressing striker role to great effect.

Firmino’s adaptability has seen him preferred to other striking options like Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings. The Brazilian has been involved in 18 goals in 2016, more than any other Liverpool player scoring 13 and adding five assists. If one player epitomises the Jurgen Klopp ‘heavy metal football’ philosophy, it is Roberto Firmino.

It is just over a year since Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool and it has very much been a work in progress. Klopp had a clear vision and he now finally seems to have found a settled squad to suit the physical demands required in each position.

The buzzword around Anfield last season was ‘consistency’ and if Liverpool can find that this season they will not be far off the leaders in the Premier League. When they click, they are simply unplayable. We have seen it already against the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, a choreographed routine with each player knowing their exact role.

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Everything is fine tuned. The addition of Giorgino Wijnaldum from Newcastle in the summer could well be a masterstroke from Klopp. Wijnaldum has become a popular figure on Merseyside and his early performances have gone relatively unnoticed. However, he brings the athleticism to complement attacks and help the forever-running Jordan Henderson patrol the midfield alongside him and shield the back four. Moreover, Joel Matip, another summer addition snaffled on a free transfer from Schalke, has the ability to pick out the runs of Coutinho and Co, due to his excellent distribution from defence.

Each player fits a particular mould to aid the seamless transition that has taken effect at Liverpool. The reds splashed out £36 million on Sadio Mane which raised eyebrows, however, like Firmino he epitomised the ‘Klopp project’ and adds an extra dimension to the Liverpool attack. He possesses incredible pace and close control allows him to attempt, on average, four lung-busting dribbles per game.

The likes of Daniel Sturridge have been cast aside and had to settle for bit-part roles so far this season, with first-team players like Danny Ings and Mamadou Sakho extradited to the under 23’s squad in order to find regular game time. Jordon Ibe, Joe Allen, Christian Benteke, Mario Balotelli have all been shipped out and sold. This is a further testimony that stamina, work-rate and defensive dedication, which are not always associated with forwards, haven’t always been fashionable attributes for attacking players, but they are more important than ever now. Those failing to embrace the Klopp pressing game are in danger of being left behind. So, like Gary Lineker said, is football really a ‘simple game?’

Only time will tell if distance covered is a recipe for success but the early signs look promising for Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side. Liverpool will be hoping that Gary Lineker’s words prove true and that in the end their German boss wins at Liverpool.

Are you a fan on this style of football? Can it have long lasting effects on Liverpool? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by cchana

  • Liverpool look dangerous under Klopp. I can see then making the top four this season but I think next season could really be their year if Klopp is given more money in the transfer windows.

    • David Robinson

      I think it’s difficult to say, this season looks like a good opportunity to push for it and right now they look just as likely as any side although I think they might run out of steam later on in the season