Friday 28 October 2016

Reds get ready to run under Klopp

Ex-players say new Liverpool boss focused on mileage

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool players will experience different training sessions under new boss Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool players meeting Jurgen Klopp for the first time this week will be given three basic instructions from their new manager - run, run and run!

But while the German is likely to push them to their physical limits in a bid to establish a clearly-defined way of playing at Anfield, players can also expect to work under one of the best motivators in football.

That's according to two players who have played under Klopp in the past, at least.

Tim Hoogland was signed by Klopp for Mainz in 2007. And in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, the former Fulham defender revealed that players would be set specific running targets by their manager.

"You have to run. That's it," Hoogland said. "I think this is one of the important things you have to know about him. The whole team has to run 120 km (74.5 miles) collectively every game. 120km minimum."

Patrick Owomoyela, who spent five years under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, backs up Hoogland's claims, and says players would be given rewards if they hit their individual targets.

"In his first year he said he wouldn't guarantee anything apart from that when we reached 120km per game then it would be much harder for us to lose," he said.

"He actually offered us a day off when we reached that target. He thought that if we reached that then we would win the game. And from then on it became easy because we understood that his plan would work."

At Liverpool, Klopp will inherit a number of players who are used to hard running. James Milner, the vice captain, was flagged up earlier this season as the player who covers the most ground per game (12.29km) in the Premier League.


Much, of course, will depend on whether Klopp gets the buy-in from his new players. Hoogland spent just one season under him at Mainz before the manager moved on to Dortmund, but is in no doubt that Liverpool have appointed one of the best man-managers around.

He said: "His speeches are really good and they make you want to go out and play. He's one of the best managers I've had for motivation.

"You've seen it in the past when he's standing in the technical area, he can go really crazy. But on the other hand, I think it can give extra motivation. He pushes you to a really, really high level."

Omomoyela, a former Germany international, concurs.

"He creates pictures in your heads when he talks," he said. "He will find the right picture to put in your head to make you feel or see what he wants you to understand. Then it's easy for you to believe, understand, and to do it. That's something special.

"He brought the winning mentality back to Dortmund. He gave the whole team hope of doing better than the last year, and he just showed us that if we followed and believed in him then there will be success at the end.

"It didn't take long for him to prove it to us. Even in his first year, the team was doing much better than the year before. From then on it was only forwards. There was progression and it was always in the right direction. We just believed him and followed him."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News