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Jurgen Klopp speaks about Steven Gerrard

What was said?

Klopp on Gerrard’s progression

When asked about Gerrard’s progression from Liverpool u18 coach to a Premier League manager, [coach 455353] said, “Wonderful story, to be honest, a wonderful story. I can imagine a little bit how he’s feeling. I know he said already, ‘No sentiments’ and all these kind of things and Stevie is meanwhile already an experienced coach, manager. He is doing the job already for a while and he knows exactly how to approach games, but he has probably no idea how it will feel when he steps into the stadium or out of the dugout or whatever.

I had that in a similar way; I cannot really compare it but when I came for the first time back to Mainz or I came first and last time back with Liverpool to Dortmund. It’s strange, it’s strange. You like or love pretty much all the people you meet when you arrive in the stadium and that’s pretty much not often the case when you go somewhere – it’s easy to be very competitive usually. But I could handle it, Stevie will handle it. I think Stevie is friends with 99.9 per cent of the people working for Liverpool FC and the 0.1 per cent never met him because they arrived after him.

Klopp added, “I never heard a negative word about Steven Gerrard since I am here. I met him, he’s a great guy and he will come here and want to win the football game. Before, nice handshake, after nice handshake, and in between they will go full throttle and he will go full throttle. I remember when we scored with Dortmund at Mainz, I forgot everything about my story at Mainz, I was celebrating like a crazy devil! So he is allowed to do that as well, I just hope he has no reason for it.”

Has Klopp given any advice to Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool boss was asked if he ever gave Gerrard any advice, “Yeah, it can with football. ‘Advice’? It was long ago, really long ago. We spoke a couple of times of course, but since he is at Rangers and especially since he is at Villa we had some messages, sending each other. But that’s it, pretty much. I am not silly, not because I wouldn’t give him advice but there’s no need for it, obviously. I watched now Aston Villa often enough since he is there: quite an impact, to be honest.

Similar style to Rangers, but obviously with different players, really good players. It feels like everybody plays in exactly the position he is made for and it looks good, honestly. It will be a tough challenge but that’s how Premier League football is. There is no difference to other games and we try to figure out how we can cause them more problems than they had so far in the games they played – and hopefully, we can do that.”

How big a challenge will Gerrard’s Villa side be?

Later, Jurgen was asked about the challenge this Villa side possesses and Gerrard’s excellent start at the club, the German said, “High intensity, what they are doing. What kind of system is it? It’s 4-3-3 or Christmas tree maybe – we are around Christmas, let’s call it a Christmas tree. 4-3-2-1 is midfield, very lively, really aggressive, a very specific way to attack with really high full-backs, specific kind of protecting with the midfielders, 10s in between the line and a proper striker, whoever it is – Watkins or Ingsy. Last line obviously looks again really settled or confident again, let me say it like this.

A good goalie. I think it is really similar, the style of play is similar to Rangers. It made him very successful there and now he is already successful there [at Villa]. I think they have four games played, nine points – I heard about worse records. I think it’s a proper start, but none of these four games were against us and that’s what we want to bring in. Stevie might say there are no sentiments and that’s right but from our point of view, from the club’s point of view, there is sentiment.

We love Stevie but that doesn’t mean anything around this game. We are all professionals as well and we will go with all we have and we will need Anfield. Stevie can get the best reception in the world because he deserves it, before the game, after the game they can sing songs and all these kind of things but in the 95 minutes we need everybody behind us and I know our people good enough, that’s what they like as well. And not to forget, it’s just a game and in a game, we have to throw everything in what we can. That means at Anfield, use Anfield. We will try everything to create a special atmosphere but when the people are ready we have a good chance to have a special atmosphere and then it’s difficult for each opponent. That’s what we have to try to produce.”

Does Klopp think Gerrard will manage Liverpool one day?

Then, Klopp was asked the inevitable question about if he thinks Gerrard will be a Liverpool manager one day. He replied, “Oh, yeah. Yes, I think, absolutely I think. The only problem is when is the right moment for that? That’s not only about Stevie but we saw that with Frank [Lampard], for example, at Chelsea – a similar story. I think that Stevie is doing really well in the moment because he is very young still from a manager’s point of view, so it’s just when is the right moment to take the job. Not that he is not able to do it, but how long you want to do it. So, is this the last job you do, is it the second job you do, the third job you do, whatever. That’s questions I cannot answer, but yes I think it will definitely happen and good for everybody.”

How much chance do Villa have against Liverpool?

Considering the way [team 15] are playing under Gerrard, it wouldn’t surprise me if they get the three points at Anfield. Of course, it will be a huge task to beat arguably the best side in Europe. However, this Villa side have more than enough to do it.

They will be without the threatening, [player 33716], who will be a big miss considering Liverpool’s vulnerability against counterattacks. Villa’s midfield also shows plenty of potentials, with [player 172611] being in great form. [player 225000], [player 25126] and [player 11705406] are all excellent players who can execute a plan against Liverpool’s midfield.

[team 8] themselves are a part of a tight title race with [team 9] a point above the reds and [team 18] a point below. Despite Liverpool’s sensational season so far, they are not top of the [league 8] which shows the kind of title race we could have this season.

Liverpool are surely the favourites going into the game. They cannot afford to drop points; otherwise, City and Chelsea could create a gap over the reds.

[coach 50] will receive an emotional welcome from the home fans. However, for the ninety minutes, there won’t be any royalties, and both will try to win the three points.

Author: Devashish Akolekar

With the legendary Steven Gerrard returning to Anfield this weekend, Klopp was asked quite a lot of questions about the former captain.

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