IN the Boxing Day edition of The Independent, looking ahead to that day’s fixture against top-of-the-table Leicester City, Danny Higginbotham wrote an article asking why “the Klopp bubble had burst”.
I disagreed with much of it. Firstly, was the idea that clever opposition managers were going long to counter the press, rather than the more obvious fact that the teams we were coming up against were long ball teams already. I mean, I didn’t see West Brom reverting back to tiki-taka against Newcastle on Match of the Day last night…
But the thing that grated the most was the conclusion that Jürgen Klopp and his tactics had been “found out” after just two months in the Premier League.
That’s right, he might have been able to win league championships and get to European finals in the primitive football surroundings of World Champions Germany but you’ve been found out pretty quickly over here, son.
I’m not sure what Danny thinks was going on in Germany. That simpleton managers were completely befuddled by Klopp getting lads to press high up the pitch leading to trophy after trophy? That only if they had the tactical genius of Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew over there he wouldn’t have lasted a minute?
Since then Liverpool have triumphed over Leicester City, the “biggest English test yet for the man”, according to Higginbotham.
So have Leicester — previously unbeaten on the road in the Premier League this season — now been “found out”?
Did Manchester United and Chelsea find each other out when they drew 0-0 at Old Trafford? Or did they fail to find the other one out? Or, alternatively, did a bunch of results just happen depending on how well the teams played on the day?
We always seem to want to do this in England. Tactics we associate as traditional will work depending on the quality or performance of the players. Anything new either has to be revolutionary or gets “found out”.
You can see it in the discussion around zonal vs man marking at corners. If a team playing zonal concedes a goal the system has been “found out”. If a team marking man to man concedes a goal it’s an individual error. The system is never questioned.
It also happened last season to Liverpool with three at the back.
Liverpool went on a long unbeaten run with the system — a purple patch of 13 games in the league, by far our best period of the season.
But as soon as we lost at home to Manchester United, the day in March when Steven Gerrard was sent off after 38 seconds, it was said the system had been “found out” rather than the more logical explanation that the opposition had just played better on the day.
Read: Jürgen Klopp can do no wrong? Oh yes he can…
Liverpool will win and lose games under Klopp and results will be decided by a variety of things, not just how well Liverpool are able to press.
It will depend on performance, fitness, luck, availability of players, opposition but also a variety of different tactics. Because, of course, to limit Jürgen Klopp to just one trick is wrong.
The man who in fairly recent times was described as the world’s most wanted manager wouldn’t have got as far as he has in the game on just gegenpressing alone.
And I’m sure he came up against plenty of ‘agricultural’ teams when playing and managing in the German second tier. I’m sure he had to find solutions to teams defending deep when managing Dortmund.
Read: Do Liverpool need to play ugly?
He found them through working with footballers for longer than two months. By developing some and buying others. By giving footballers confidence to perform under pressure. By pulling fans behind him.
There are unique factors to English football, of course, and challenges that the manager will have to overcome. But considering his record, I’m still backing the Premier League to get “found out” before Jürgen Klopp does.
Pics: Propaganda-Photo–David Rawcliffe
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till he gets his own players an changes things around which could take 18 months we carnt judge anything, great article an spot on
Danny Higginbottom of Stoke City fame is right. We have the best league in the world. English teams triumph tactically over their continental counterparts in the European competitions, year on year. So that’s why he’s not surprised when a chump like Klopp comes here with his foreign systems and is undone by football played the English way. You’ll see it when Hodgson takes his team to conquer Europe in the summer. Foreigners…we taught ’em the game, y’know.
How many English players can be considered as world class talents?
Tbh english players are average at best and not good enough to beat teams like Croatia,Sweeden,not to speak of heavy weights like Spain,Germany,Belgium,Portugal,France etc… Foreign players and managers improve the epl without them the league is sh*t.
Johnson, you’re not American by any chance are you? I think you’ll find Howard was being ironic with that comment.
We have very good english players and some of them are becoming world class,
when you are talking tournament football it is a different game than the EPL, the Germans have been very good at it because most of their players have been playing together since they were young in basically two teams…..
England players were always too tired, injured and not acclimatized to hot hot countries also every team plays England like it is a cup final, they give their very best.
Portugal are not a heavyweight team they are not that good, they have Ronaldo that’s it.
Also “Foreign players” etc. do enhance the EPL however they are not the only reason why the EPL is what it is, the EPL is now a world league and only the best can play in it including a lot of very good talented british lads that don’t want to play anywhere else in the world.
Grow up and be a racist somewhere else.
No one is being racist. Chill with the comments.
Irony and sarcasm are going out of fashion thanks to social media. Bloody hell…!
Yes they are being racist and maybe that’s ok with you but it’s not with me, be dismissive with your own views not mine!
Fuck me i want what carl’s drinking!
‘Barman a pint of finest Daft Twat please!’
The old farmer eyed Carl, from over the hedge. He then looked at the ground. A hint of a smile curled upon his lips, but there was also genuine sympathy in his eyes.
A light wind blew through the poplar trees. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked.
So TAW, your reply to obviously you being a racist under a synonym is to show your playground mentality, sorry I thought I was dealing with adults, my bad!
I read the article from a social media link and my thoughts echoed Gibbos, but without the restraints of being voiced in public!! A very poor piece of analysis if therre ever was one. Carl, you make some valid points which I find myself in agreement with but somewhere in the article or replies you’ve found something offensive to you. I don’t consider myself to be racist and I have missed what it is that has upset you. Not having a go here mate but I just don’t see it and would be happy to be enlightened.
Carl, give it up, you’ve been found out. Back to school for you soon, enjoy what time you have off now.
Wow, I always seen lots of stupid shit written on this website , but damn all these comments are getting worst and worst . What the hell is that, Klopp has been found out. Lfc has always been a team with up and down side periods if you are really a Lfc fans you should know that. If it’s possible to judge a Manager specially someone who has just arrived at the club and facing so much injuries and still has managed to keep the team in the top 10 and you are seeing him as bad or found out or what ever stupid word, you must be the most dumb fellow on the planet. Consistency and great results cannot be achieve in couple of month, not cause some who call themselves Lfc supporters are impatient mean that the Manager is wrong or doing badly. Cause some dumb ass think that football are still the same as it was 20 yrs ago. If that what you’re thinking better stop being a fan and stop watching soccer. Cause nowadays you can see week in week out every big team are suffering humiliations and unexpected defeats whether it is away or home games. THat’s what Klopp clearly said several times on and on he is not a magician and don’t have any secret designated ready formula for Lfc or whatever team, all he knows is about patient, hard and trust if this is not clear enough for you man go back to school…. Pressing the game always paid off no matter which team you are, but unfortunately for Lfc every week that some improvement has been seen on the pitch after the next game the team faces yet another two or three players injured and you have to worked with a new group and start back again. If it was that easy as some think just to bring new players or any new faces in a team and get great results some why would a team need a Manager . The directors themselves could do the jos . Just sit in their office and write checks week in and week out and say buy this buy that. And throw all other players out of the team like garbage. That what Lfc should look like to your point of view a team that treat their players like shit and don’t have any respect for players and not willing to treat them like human being, like a father or son . If it’s that I am not interested of being an Lfc fan anymore. That’s what klopp is trying to bring in Lfc team, that respect, trust and determination that a player feel when he is in the team. The kind of attitude which make players wanna stay to fight for their places, and what will attract any players to the club as well. As Klopp said what is start players, just cause you cost hundred millions. So which mean in the eyes of others Mahrez, Lukaku, Vardy, Are what shit….
Not sure what you read but it wasn’t on here. Not sure what you’re angry at.
Not sure what the fuck you have against paragraphs.
“So TAW, your reply to obviously you being a racist under a synonym is to show your playground mentality, sorry I thought I was dealing with adults, my bad!”
Great conspiracy theory, “Carl”. Sadly, for you, not true. Have better things to do.
LMFAO, you have just proven my point, happy new year :)
All the best. Shame no-one else knows what your ‘point’ is.
Danny who? If the guy had a clue about football he wouldn’t have played like a two-footed clown.
I think, to be fair,. most clowns (and footballers) have two feet though…
I’m seconding that *most* clowns and footballers have two feet.
John, spot on, and a well written article. It is not an accident that we beat Chelsea, City and Southampton with the way we played, under JK. And JK’s world class title just did not happen overnight, as you have pointed out correctly. Given time and support/resources, JK will bring the league title back to Anfield, no doubt. With a gradual progress, I am willing to wait, 5 years, 7 years, no problem. I believe it will happen during the next 3-5 years. In Klopp we trust.
Any ‘rag’ paying some neanderthal to write spurious waffle deserves to have asses wiped on it.
John’s article is spot on. Some of the comments after are shite.
Yeah let’s have more about my penerium joke! #TAWgagthieves
Spot on John. Next season will be the same for guardiola. The sun will shine out of his arse for 2 months and as soon as he draws at West Bromwich journalists will be lining up to write articles about how his tactics don’t work in England
Great article, shame some use it as a tool to be complete idiots, suppose that’s the way of the world nowadays, people have to sometimes contextualise sometimes before they post….
JK (Rowling) once wrote: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
Sounds racist to me.
Some one once wrote, ‘Hell is the impossibility of reason.’
A typical TAW forum…..
Jib it, Bob.
I read that article too. Fell for the click-bait to my shame. Just had to know how he was going to justify such a claim. As expected, the article could be summarised with the following: ‘welcome to Britain where we play the British way and our British teams will out-Britain you any day. So yeah….Britain.’
Great article, John. Sad that the Independent allowed such trash to pass as an article. Just sad.
But this was a classic:
‘But considering his record, I’m still backing the Premier League to get “found out” before Jürgen Klopp does.’
Nice one, John. The worrying thing though is how garbage like this Higginbottom piece – if spouted by enough ‘journalists’ – starts to gain traction in the media, and gets repeated in pubs up and down the land, becoming almost like a mantra. Ref. Rafa’s zonal marking ‘failure’ when we’ve been sh1te at corners for a while, zonal or otherwise.
We’re light years away from that happening with Klopp and the points made in the Indie article, but just talking generally, like.
Klopp’s record is pretty shit with us as we stand today, once you look beyond cup games against against shit sides. It’s the kind of form that will get you the sack. However, you’d have to be a complete Joey of a Carl level to not see the huge uplift in attitude in the players already. Now fast forward three of four transfer windows when he’s jettisoned those that thought they’d “made it” once they moved to L4, and built a side with his type of players.
If we’re still crap in the middle of the division, fair enough, slag him off then. But I’d wager we’ll be closer to Rafa’s time than the rest of those in the job since Kenny taking over from Paisley/Fagan.
By my count, the purple patch consisted of 22 games (all comps) with just one loss and 12 clean sheets. By sheer coincidence, that was the period when we had the rare luxury of a fit Sturridge and Sakho. Sturridge was more obvious, but the loss of Sakho made the back three – which carried us when we couldn’t catch a goal – woefully unbalanced.
As I remember, Lucas and Lallana were both out with injuries for a spell around that time. And Flanagan was injured again just as he returned. Imagine having Flanno at RB instead of Can, who also picked up a red card around the time we lost Gerrard.
Rather than being “found out,” the squad was in shambles from forced absences and Sterling downing tools in the post-interview period. But at least Balotelli kept everyone focused in training.
This season has been equally shambolic in terms of squad availability. I can’t remember a period of more sustained turmoil from injuries and transfers in our history, although perhaps our lack of depth only exposes it more keenly. Replacing elite players with bucket loads of potential players has done no good, leaving endless “what-if’s” around the Rodgers quote:
“I would rather have one or two absolute top players than seven that might not help us.”
Can’t think of too many Reds that wouldn’t agree with that sentiment, least of all Klopp.
the only ‘endless what ifs’ around Rodgers are from you Brendan. Most others know exactly what he was.
Basically, in Brazil the US squad had a system of not being technically very good, but having very good athletes willing to run through a brick wall to win and refused to give up no matter how out matched they were. This took them as far as it was possible before we ran into a Belgian squad that sheer desire alone wasn’t enough to defeat. England on the other hand forgot they didn’t have Luis Suarez on the pitch and decided that the Liverpool “system” would still work. We found out it doesn’t. So, everyone knew the US was going to give you no pause and no room and you had to put in a full shift and well, we got a hell of a lot further than expected. The team selection for England pretty much telegraphed the system that would attempted to be played and as most Liverpool supporters knew, resulted in some absolutely dire football.
The use of the term “found out” implies that there was a lack of information about what a team was going to try and do. The only thing we found out was that hard work will take you only so far and that Roy Hodgson is an absolute moron.
Theres no way Klopp has been found out. High pressing is not rocket science. What has been found out is that Klopp will be able to work his ‘hugging’ and positivity magic on some, but not on others, and that those who cannot do the work will ultimately be on their way. You can see his demands on the touchline. Theres not enough passion in the current squad and maybe some of the youth available can inject that passion, and leave the big earners who dont have the club at heart to go on their way to make their fortune elsewhere. Its not a Liverpool disease, its a football disease that a lot of these players dont possess the passion to put it in for their team or the fans that pay their wages. Klopps way works. But what to do when they win the ball? Does Klopp really need to teach lessons in movement. Liverpool have too many static midfielders for me who maybe move, but dont keep on the move. And as for forwards, oh dear. One in particular is just not a good finisher. Not money well spent. The team need a new commanding centre half which they havent had since Hyppia, a new dynamic midfielder who can pass and move and direct, and a new striker who is willing to run the channels and not be tree-like up top.