Jürgen Klopp has praised the team behind the team at Liverpool, insisting he would ‘be nothing’ without their input and support.
In an exclusive feature interview conducted at the Reds’ training camp in Rottach-Egern and now available to watch on demand for LFCTV GO subscribers, the manager was eager to highlight the importance of his backroom team.
“I am nothing without them,” he stated. “I think the biggest strength of strong people is to put people around you who are stronger in specific cases than yourself. Only if you are insecure you wouldn’t do that and think, ‘Oh my god, maybe somebody sees he is better at this than I am…’ and all that stuff.
“I have absolutely no problem with this and that makes them so important for me. I like them all but we are only together because they have so many qualities. Without them, I didn’t want to do the job – and I couldn’t do the job anymore. That’s how it is.
“When I started I was alone, but that was years ago and the world has changed – especially the football world, so it’s really important we have this quality around. I am absolutely happy about this.”
LFCTV GO: A bike ride and exclusive interview with Jürgen Klopp
Expanding on the roles of some of the members of the coaching staff, Klopp explained how each individual’s strengths and expertise combined provide him with a powerful support structure and assist his management of the Reds.
He continued: “Zeljko [Buvac] is the brain, Pete [Krawietz] is the eye. Pep [Lijnders] has become unbelievably important in a short time because he writes everything down, he is also part of ‘the brain’ because he is our mind to remember the things what we did in previous sessions.
“He brings us the next coaching generation; we are not old but we are already that long in the business, so it’s normal that you have routines, you use them and they are good. We try to stay open all the time, but with Pep he is our connecting point to the present and the future, so that’s really, really important.
“What can I say about John [Achterberg]? I’ve never met a guy like him! He is a goalkeeper coach 24 hours a day! That’s not always nice, actually, because if you want to talk to him about anything else, he can lead every conversation in a goalkeeping direction. That’s a skill, I think! In the end you think ‘Did we speak for five minutes about goalkeepers when we started with politics?’
“Mona [Nemmer] is heart and soul, she is everything. She is so smart. Not one player is in doubt about her – that’s outstanding. Nobody likes it when someone tells you what you’re eating is not good, but Mona is really strong in this. In this department we have changed pretty much everything and the players like it because they know Mona is just there to help them and make their lives easier, at Melwood and at home because she works with their better halves.
“Korny [Kornmayer] is kind of the drill sergeant here. He needs to be. We make the decisions what he has to do and he gives the advice of which specific areas we can improve. He needs to be the ‘bad boy’ from time to time because players don’t like running – ‘That’s Korny’s idea, if you ask me you can have a day off but Korny said you have to!’
“It’s all good otherwise we could not be fourth last season and we would not be this good of a team. Always we can improve, we can improve still, but as a basis to improve I am quite happy.”