Much has been made recently of Liverpool’s playing style and how it is no longer the gung-ho, heavy metal machine that we watched for most of last season.
Speaking ahead of today’s Merseyside derby, Klopp has explained why Liverpool‘s playing style has had to change.
“A lot of teams saw that we were good at that and realised they were overplaying,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“If the team gives us the opportunity to do it we will still be there with the counter-press. But very often it is not possible.”
Klopp discussed the approach many opponents take against Liverpool and how it differs from the way the same teams would approach a game against Manchester City.
“A lot of teams also play counter-attack against us. They don’t have the same respect for us that they have for Man City, for example. Against City, you watch it and wonder what they are doing. A week later they play us and they are thinking, right, let’s try. City deserve that but it makes a big difference because we have to be 100 per cent concentrated all the time.”
Liverpool have had to take a more patient and restrained approach and for the most part in the Premier League, it has been working for them, currently sitting in second place behind the reigning champions.
“It means that now we have to control more games. We have to keep the ball, especially against counter-attacking sides. That may change in the second part of the season when opponents who are down the table need the points and so they will need to open up a bit more. But at this moment we have to control games and be patient but in a very lively way.”
The former Borussia Dortmund boss said he prefers this new style now and feels it shows a more mature side to his Liverpool team.
“This was a big part of our thinking in pre-season as well. We really said that. It’s like we were so lively in the past that the moment we couldn’t be lively because there was no space for that it was like there was immediately this drop in concentration. That is not allowed. I like it more now actually. It is more mature. That was the next step for us. So far so good.”