herald

Thursday 25 May 2017

'Jurgen is closer to players than Pep'

Didi Hamann
Didi Hamann

Jurgen Klopp enjoys a closer bond with his Liverpool players than the connection Pep Guardiola has with his Manchester City team, according to Didi Hamann, who played for both clubs.

Klopp is a much more volatile presence on the touchline than the Spaniard, frequently whipping up the Anfield crowd and publicly celebrating with his players after important goals.

The German even broke his glasses after being swamped by players celebrating their last-gasp winner in the 5-4 victory at Norwich City earlier this year.

Former German international Hamann, who played 191 times for Liverpool and 54 for City, backs such public displays of emotion, believing they illustrate the team spirit that his compatriot has engendered.

"The way Jurgen Klopp celebrates with his players makes him stand out in the Premier League," Hamann said. "There's a bond there which you don't get at any other club. Those players would go through a brick wall for their manager - more so than any other club in the league.

"Pep Guardiola certainly doesn't seem to have the same connection with his Manchester City players."

Guardiola, who displays only limited emotion while watching City, witnessed the Klopp effect first hand from the Anfield stands on Tuesday when the German roared on his players to their 4-1 comeback win over Stoke City.

Hamann believes Klopp's inclusion of Simon Mignolet in that team at the expense of Loris Karius also shows an essential difference between the two managers.

"Klopp has also made a cut-throat decision, whereas Pep hasn't", Hamman said. "Both clubs have had goalkeeper problems this season, but Klopp has dropped Loris Karius and brought back Simon Mignolet.

"There was huge pressure on Karius after high-profile mistakes against Bournemouth and West Ham, and while Klopp defended him in the press, he changed him and dealt with the issue behind closed doors.

"Since then Liverpool have won three games and only conceded once.

"There are still huge question marks over Claudio Bravo at City and Pep hasn't addressed them," he added.

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