FUN. Have it. Loads and loads of it.
This is one of Jürgen Klopp’s daily reminders to his players and staff. Football should be about enjoyment, and if you’re lucky enough to work in the game, the German believes F.U.N should be tattooed all over your face.
He can be deadly serious. He doesn’t really talk in team meetings, he screams. You can hear his every order to his charges on a matchday from the press box, and when he whistles to draw a player’s attention, it is piercing.
Leaving everything on the pitch, even in training, is non-negotiable. Counter-pressing is the law, not a requirement. It is Klopp’s way, or the doorway. But he encourages fun, he laps it up, he loves it.
On an icy Wednesday night at Anfield, there were times Liverpool just had some of that good, good stuff. Joao Teixeira’s filthy backheel, Jordon Ibe finally bubbling like champagne again, Nathaniel Clyne’s cool-as-fuck finish, Firmino making Matt Ritchie wish he’d have closed his legs quicker…
It was only a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup, but there was some fun, and Liverpool need to unpack more of that. We need to see boxes and boxes of it.
“Football should be about enjoyment.” Repeat after Klopp.
“Tonight, it was really good because these young players don’t think too much, and that’s important – they think about football and not about pressure,” was the manager’s assessment post-match.
He was correct, there was definitely an absence of “Oh my god, we’re creating loads here and we’re not scoring again, and this is probably going to end 1-1, and we’re going to have to wait ages for another win and, and, and…” The lack of belief times infinity and beyond was replaced by what the 48-year-old termed “fun in the eyes”.
Given Liverpool’s recent injury history is scarier than anything you’ll see on Halloween, last night’s win – Klopp’s first and the club’s only one for October in six attempts – grows in significance.
It’s a triumph that takes away some of the pressure that has been visibly crippling the squad. It gives the side something to build on. It’s another clean sheet as the process of being more compact and hard to beat takes shape. But it’s also a lesson to be less introspective and more expressive.
Ibe was a throwback to the player who fired off question marks at Tottenham and Everton last season, both teams unsure of the answers. Klopp demanded more bravery and confidence, Adam Bodgan gave him a nice gingery dose. Firmino wanted the ball, told his teammates where he wanted it, and wanted it some more. His intelligence in transition was a wonder to witness.
The positives were there again. More than I’ve stated above. And hopefully no less in future. The result was one Liverpool have been desperate for since September 26. Klopp could finally punch the air at the final whistle as well.
And there was some enjoyment. There was some fun. Can we have more please? Loads and loads more.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo
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Fun as F*&k. Klopp’s way. Gotta love it.
I also like that the media narrative has gone from “winless” to “unbeaten”. Funny how draws work in a narrative.
I have noticed Jurgen’s voice on the telly-it’s a bit sad that it’s so quiet one can hear a single voice on television but it’s nice to hear the manager accepts nothing less than 100% commitment at all times. This could make all the difference.
We are now unbeaten in our last 10 matches (all competitions). :)
If we beat Chelsea and everyone will be spinning it that way!
Oh JURGEN KLOPP
oh jurgen klopp
OH JURGEN KLOPP IS WUNDERBAR
HE HATES THE MANCS AND THE COCKNEYS
OH JURGEN KLOPP IS WUNDERBAR…..(repeat)
Hardly a revelation but I think he wants to change the whole attitude of the club whether the players or the fans. It’s long overdue. Apologies but I wanted to write a comment unrelated to the article and I thought as it’s about positivity this was as good a place as any.
I’ve just read the article written by the supporters committee based around the minutes of their meeting with the owners. We’re all really quick to criticise every aspect of the club so given the new change in mentality that Klopp is trying to install then I think it’s appropriate to give praise to the owners for their contribution in the meeting.
I believe the owners requested the meeting and discussed ticket prices and the disconnect between local fans and the club. Reading it, I got the impression the owners wanted to address some of the issues that fans have. Ok, I was left wondering if any changes would be implemented if it meant a drop in revenue but I was also left with a good feeling that there was a willingness on behalf of the owners to actually address things. Time will tell but it’s on the record now and my guess is ‘something’ will result from this. It sounds like it’s already been on their agenda.
Again, there was the insinuation it could be healthy for the commercial side, so worth exploring but all we hear is how FSG don’t back the club, that they’re distant or rather disinterested owners, that they’re looking to sell etc etc. All the former may well be true but their tenure has been far from a disaster, yet we only talk about the negative aspects. I opened Twitter saw the article first up on my timeline, read it then immediately closed it down. In the 2 hours before I logged back on I wondered how much coverage that story would get on my timeline, bearing in mind such is the scrutiny of LFC that if Ian Ayre rides on a motorbike it stays on my timeline for over 3 years and counting. When I logged on though, there was nothing. It was only over a 100 tweets saying either Moreno would do a dance if we win something or how Moreno was the latest to say how bad Rodgers reign was. I found it odd.
How many times do we read articles about ticket prices. About the lack of soul at the club due to the lack of local connection or about how the owners aren’t listening. I hope we see some recognition somewhere that the owners did listen. I’m sure people will take more notice when something actually happens as a result but I wouldn’t like to think all this time we devote to discussing the club is only worthy if it’s negative. Klopp can see we need to change as fans. Him being at the helm feels good and I’ll be honest, I felt good about the owners comments too. With the manager and the new stadium Liverpool is on the move. A lot of the players seem a lot better recently. When our injured players return there’ll be a further lift. All we need now is for the fans to get on board and we’ll be laughing. The whole thing might seem like fun. I’m not holding my breath though:)
hi Robin. agreed w your view on FSG.
they are trying their best on both footballing and business sides, in parallel.
one of the messages I posted here right after the appointment of JK was to leave FSG and Ian Ayer to continue to do their job for the Reds.
Robin Crimes ultras!
What does that mean? I know what Ultras are but don’t understand the relevance.
I listened to that absolute clown Mike Parry on TalkSport last night, having a go at Klopp for showing ‘Too much emotion’ on the touch line! Pretty much saying “We don’t want that kind of thing over here!” I actually thought the tool was joking…. He wasn’t!
Nailed it, Melissa. Thanks.
Injury crises have a way of sapping the fun out of things.
Then again, it seems like fun left town roughly 38 seconds after Gerrard was introduced against the Mancs. But really, really, it had gone the moment the third goal went in for Palace at the end of 13/14. Suarez on his haunches. That. Was. It.
Ray Davies once asked where have all the good times gone? It is hard not to see that the failure to pursue Sanchez to the ends of the Earth, in favor of settling for Balotelli – a human dysfunction who shattered the attacking cohesion and the general collectivity so carefully fostered in the build up to our title run.
I found a quote today from Rodgers at the very end of 13/14:
“I don’t want to put a figure on how many, but I would rather have one or two absolute top players than seven that might not help us.
“It’s about the quality. We can’t be going into the Champions League this year with doubts about players. We have to be going in knowing what the players’ capacity to play is and their capabilities.”
It is hard not to feel that “one or two absolute top players” would have made all the difference in the world. If we threw out all the players brought in that summer and just took Sanchez and, say, Lacazette (or Howedes), how would that have changed our season?
We have Benteke and Firmino now. Let’s hope they become those absolute top players. And let the fun begin.