Jürgen Klopp favours simplicity when deciding on the right formation for his Liverpool team.
A 4-2-3-1 system has been deployed by the Reds boss on several occasions so far this season, though he explained that particular set-up is not a new thing under his management.
Indeed, the fluidity of the players and combinations at Klopp’s disposal mean the German has and can continue to line up the side in a variety of subtly different ways as required.
The prevailing objective, however, is always to empower those on the pitch to express their ability rather than rigidly abide to a tactical structure.
Asked about his use of the 4-2-3-1 formation by Premier League Productions, Klopp said: “We played it from time to time, we didn’t only play it at the beginning when I came in.
“We played it last year, I think we played it in the last game. We played different systems. But I don’t think too much about things like that, I’m always in the situation. I use my experience with only what I can remember – I don’t go through my papers and think, ‘What did we do in that situation?’
“I’m pretty sure we played a diamond because I played it always when I had the opportunity to do it, bringing in two strikers and stuff like that.
“Our system, when we play with all three up front, is something like a diamond; it can be a 4-5-1, it can be a 4-3-3. Of course, 4-2-3-1 – 4-4-1-1 I’d prefer in most situations to name it – is a good system.
“But it’s never about the system, it’s all about the players. My job is to bring the players into the best position where they can help the team most with the things they can do. If I can do it with the system, I do it, but it’s not that we go through the week and be very creative with things like that because, in the end, the players need to play [on instinct].
“If I need an hour or two to explain what I want from them, maybe I have got them [in the mind] but I don’t get them deeper. That’s the problem.
“Don’t make football more complicated than it is; the game has enough demands for the players that we don’t need a manager who asks more questions.”
The current pause in the season for international football arrived with Liverpool still unbeaten in the top flight.
Sunday’s 2-0 home victory over Fulham equalled the Reds’ best ever start to a Premier League season with 30 points, and they have never before had a better goal difference or conceded as few at this stage.
Klopp’s men remain in contention for the Champions League knockout stages, too, despite a sobering defeat against Red Star Belgrade earlier this month.
There are plenty of reasons for the manager to be happy, then.
And his positive disposition is supported by a philosophical outlook on the pressures often connected with leading a team at the highest level.
“I don’t feel pressure. That’s how it is,” said Klopp.
“I made a decision long ago for myself: I give everything I have. I don’t hold anything back. In this moment, I can’t do better. I am really like I am.
“I know a lot about football. Do I know everything? I don’t think anybody [does] but I know a lot about it. I expect a lot from myself but there is no pressure. We want to win each game and if we don’t win it then we want to win the next one.
“Any other decisions – how people look at me and what people think about me – I have nothing to do with that because I have no influence on it. As long as we win football games, everybody thinks – even if they don’t like me – ‘He’s a good manager’.
“And when we lose football games, the people who don’t like me and the people who like me say, ‘Maybe he’s not the right manager anymore’. That’s how it is. If you know that before, how can it put pressure on your shoulders? I really don’t understand that.
“In a period when you don’t win football games, it’s not easy to be in the same mood with the press as you are in other situations. But not because I don’t like the press; I have no real opinion. When we lose football games you ask questions I don’t have an answer for. ‘Why did you lose the game?’ – I could say because we conceded goals.
“All these things are clear before we start, so where’s the pressure? I don’t feel it. That’s the 100 per cent truth.
“I feel the intensity and the importance of the game, with different situations – Middlesbrough two years ago, Brighton last year, when we want to go to the Champions League with all we have, before finals of course – but it’s not pressure. I feel the intensity and the importance of the tournament and the situation.
“That’s why, pretty much most of the time, I’m in at least an OK mood. When I come in here and have no private problems, I’m in a really good mood because when I come in it’s the moment when we start changing things for the better. We have that chance every day.
“I love doing what I do, I feel really blessed that I have the opportunity to do it.”