MANILA -- “I don’t ask for changes. I only ask for consistency.”
Thus declared Liverpool Football Club manager Jürgen Klopp in the pre-match press conference pitting the new champions of England against Arsenal when addressing ABS-CBN News’ question.
Liverpool played to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley last Saturday, July 11; it was their first draw in their home field of Anfield all season and stopped their 24-match win streak at home. The result gave them only a point that netted a total of 93 for the season and a 30-3-2 slate. The record for points in a single Premier League season is 98 that Manchester City achieved last season.
With three matches to play -- Arsenal on Wednesday, then Chelsea on July 23 at Stamford Bridge in London, after which they end their season at home against Newcastle on July 26 -- Liverpool hopes to gain a minimum of six to surpass Manchester City, and the maximum of nine points from all three matches to be the first club to gain over 100 points.
The author asked Klopp, who has won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup to go with the Premiership in his first five years in England, if he was looking at anything aside from wins be it team tactics or individual performances in the final three games.
Said the German-born manager: “The Premier League is so demanding. So making changes (this late) is difficult. The most important thing is that we are competitive because our opponents play for everything. Arsenal wants to qualify for Europe and we will feel that. It (consistency) is good for our development as well because we are making sure that we are ready in each game if we don’t play for anything apart from points which is the main thing. And the boys show me that all the time.”
Under the 53-year-old Klopp, Liverpool has posted a 116-41-22 record with his side scoring 382 goals, while conceding 169. In all competitions including the FA Cup, League Cup, and the Champions League, Klopp has a 158-60-44 record, or a 60.31% winning rate.
Despite Liverpool not getting a win against Burnley, the Reds’ gaffer had this to say: “I am happy for the Burnley game because all the Burnley games we’ve played are one of the better ones for sure. We just didn’t score the goals. We will always struggle against Burnley because they believe in that one chance and they got it. That’s why they got a point. That is what we have to show the attitude, the desire (against every opponent).”
As for any experimentation for tactics, Klopp bared that he wasn’t looking to do this at such a late stage in the campaign that has been stretched out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Football tactics, you change this and that but the timing is extremely important. You speak about them and ask for them in moments when the boys are ready for that. It is a difficult time with the lockdown and coming back. I was happy to play again as you try find your feet again. (Our) Physical status is great. It showed us that the boys when they were at home they did all the necessary stuff. And now we have to finish this league in a very difficult schedule with Arsenal and Chelsea next. The last game which against Newcastle it will be an intense game. So I don’t ask for changes I ask for consistency. I want to see us consistent, performing to the highest level.”
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