Liverpool’s mantra heading into 2019-20 isn’t about ‘going again’ as that won’t be enough to achieve their ambitions, Jürgen Klopp has outlined.
The Reds kick off the new Premier League season at home to Norwich City tonight aiming to build on an outstanding campaign last time out, in which they clinched the Champions League and finished behind Manchester City by the narrowest of margins after accumulating 97 points in the top flight.
Klopp feels the onset of the new term presents great opportunity to his side – but has detailed why Liverpool need to be better in all aspects if they are to reach the targets they desire.
He wrote in his first official matchday programme column of the season: "A new season is always about opportunity. I think this coming one presents the best kind of opportunity for all of us in the LFC fold.
"As the team, we know we have the opportunity to be better than we were last season. This I love about football. Regardless of what came before you know there are new challenges and new memories to make.
"This team, since I have been fortunate enough to lead them, has been all about progression collectively and individually. They know standing still means you actually fall backwards. The Premier League, the domestic cups and Europe – all our opponents will make strides forward. Our strides can and must be bigger if we want to achieve.
"I hear the words often, after a season like we just had, about how difficult or how important it is to 'go again'. I don’t dislike the sentiment and there is merit to it, but simply ‘going again’ won’t be enough. We need to be even stronger, even fitter, smarter, more committed, greater focus.
"Maybe a slight change on the sentiment: 'improve again', maybe 'progress again'.
"Here is what I know for certain: it will be the toughest, most challenging season we will all face, and that is because of the quality we compete with. Starting tonight we face outstanding players, led by brilliant managers and coaches week in and week out – it doesn’t stop.
"But it’s the challenge that makes it so fulfilling and so enjoyable. Let’s never lose sight of what we are all involved in; it’s about energy and joy, it’s about shared experiences. There is so much in the outside world that is not to enjoy at the moment, so much that is divisive. Football at its best is the antidote to this, albeit we know it can only often be brief respite. Football offers the chance for people from all backgrounds and all communities to come together and focus on achieving something amazing through collective effort.
"Everyone – from the players to the staff to the supporters – shares equally in the joyous moment of a goal or a win. We can all experience the fulfilment that comes from helping each other. Supporters give energy to the players through atmosphere and players give energy back through their commitment and enterprise. Everyone contributes and everyone benefits.
"These are the values that will shape our season. If we all look to continue this relationship – of one big community, all coming together to help the team achieve – then we can enjoy special moments again I think.
"If I had one message for the coming season, to everyone who cares about this amazing club, it is that we are ready for some great times if we are prepared to work together to achieve it. We can stay together at all times if we want it this way, good times and bad.
"As the team, management and players, we know what our responsibilities are and we are hungry and eager to deliver more. We know our supporters will be the wind at our backs. The rest is about the journey and making sure you take all the joy you can from the moment.
"This evening we are back at Anfield, our home. Let’s cherish every moment we have in this special place together and focus entirely on this game and giving all we have to win and then enjoy that feeling together."
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