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Teams are not made through illogical spending of money
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There is no doubt that Jürgen Klopp is not only one of the best managers around but also one to always speaks his mind. In the seven years he has been coaching Liverpool he has transformed the club into a world power. During a certain period, the Reds were even considered the best football club in the world. This was not accomplished by spending ridiculous amounts of money on players. It was made possible through the careful acquisition of footballers that fit the plan that Klopp had in mind. It should not come as a surprise that all Asian bookies and their European counterparts, consider who is the manager before considering any other circumstances when calculating the odds that they will offer.


It’s not the monopoly

After the victory over Leicester City, the coach was asked about the acquisition of 23-year-old Dutch Cody Gakpo on a deal that will cost Liverpool around 50 million pounds. He more or less showed his frustration about the constant questioning about player transfers:


“I’m now over seven years in the job and every transfer window is the same. We talk about these things as though the money wouldn’t play any role. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but we’ve signed an outstanding player in Cody Gakpo and the next thing you read is ‘who’s next?’.


“Honestly, we cannot play like monopoly. Of course, we cannot just spend, and we never could. It’s a big part of my philosophy, working full of faith and trust with the players we have, and not constantly questioning them by telling them we need another player for their position.


“I think with Cody it’s obvious, not only because of the void we have, the quality he has, the timing is perfect. If we’d waited for the summer, he’d have been more expensive or someone else would have picked him. There’s a lot of potentials and it makes a lot of sense with the games we will have; we will only have more games. It’s clear you need to bring quality to all positions. You need two teams on the same level that you can rotate, so that’s what we try to prepare. But people are surprised when I then say we won’t be ‘splashing the cash’. Again, if there’s something we can do, with the right player, and the right financial situation, we’ll do it. If not, we won’t.”


Reading between the lines

The interview yielded a few interesting deductions:


Liverpool does not intend to sign up any more players during this transfer season. Gakpo was an urgently needed addition to the roster and it was completed in due time.

Klopp considers that this sort of talk actually hinders the club by undermining the psychology of his players. Other coaches think that by providing internal competition for the positions on the pitch, they provide an incentive to the players for doing better. Here we have a fundamentally different philosophy. For Klopp, it would appear that the danger of losing one’s position actually acts negatively on their performance.

A second part of this philosophy is also diametrically opposed to the general way managers handle their teams. Most of them prefer to create a basic core of 5 – 7 players that appear in every game and then cover the rest of the positions as needed. The way Klopp rotates his players shows that he wants to have the same performance regardless of who is on the field.


Typically, there is an inherent problem here. And it has to do with the different characteristics of each player. The best that is possible is to have 2 players with similar styles but not exactly the same. So what Klopp is actually doing is differentiating the output by the different combinations of who plays. It is an interesting notion and only time will tell if it will yield results.


No big names

Throughout his career as a coach, the German has proved that he does not want big names in his teams. No Messi, no CR7, no Mbappe, nor any other of the players of this class. Instead, he prefers talented young and ambitious players or established footballers that can cover specific needs at any given period. The only exceptions to that rule were Allison Becker and Virgil Van Dijk, however, in the first case, the rule that a good team begins with a good goalkeeper, needed to apply.


While the total sum of his philosophy may still need some time for verification, it is clear that a large part of it is working, hence, the «in favour» prices from all of the best bookmakers in the industry.


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Explanation: player statistics (a/b c)

a - games played this season

b - goals scored

c - team position (d - defender, m - midfielder, f - forward, g - goalkeeper).

January 5, 2023 at 4:18 pm