Jürgen Klopp on Firmino role, Nunez-Salah connection and favourite PL moment

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Firmino role, Nunez-Salah connection and favourite PL moment

Published 12th August 2022

Jürgen Klopp discussed Roberto Firmino's role, the on-pitch connection between Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, his favourite Premier League memory and more on Friday.

The Liverpool manager was speaking to the media at a press conference to preview Monday night’s Anfield clash with Crystal Palace.

Read a summary of Klopp’s briefing at the AXA Training Centre – in addition to his discussion of the Reds’ midfield options – below…

On Harvey Elliott’s new contract and whether he’s in the plans for a start versus Palace…

Yeah, he is always. He’s a fantastic boy, a super player and came on and had a real impact [at Fulham last weekend]. He played a really good pre-season – very helpful – and yeah, of course.

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On his favourite memory in the 30 years of the Premier League…

It’s easy, we didn’t even play! It was the penalty for Chelsea, when Willian scored the penalty for Chelsea against City when we became champions in that moment [in June 2020], definitely. That was a mix of everything. I can remember the situation before, it was a chance of Chelsea like shooting, defending, shooting, blocking and then handball and everyone was shouting ‘handball’. It was not immediately the whistle and then the whistle came and that was the first celebration. I am actually absolutely not like this, honestly. I watch football games, other teams when I’m not involved, I couldn’t care less – it’s always kind of analysis, watching, learning. But it was completely different in that moment, I was really hoping it would be a penalty and I was really hoping Willian keeps his nerve. When he kept his nerve, it was good – it was my Premier League moment.

On Firmino’s role in the team, if it has evolved and his importance…

Very important. If you take now our last game against Fulham, we didn’t find Bobby properly. There were different reasons, we saw in the analysis a lot; we can speak about it but it was something that had nothing to do with us, to be honest, because the centre was very often blocked. If you want to watch it back you see it as well, and they were not bad players. That’s why it was a bit difficult for him to get into the game. And we didn’t play well, and that’s always for an offensive player not easy to show up really. But apart from that, I don’t obviously judge Bobby because of one game or two games or whatever. Bobby is a fantastic player and had a good pre-season, not a perfect pre-season but a good pre-season and that’s all he needed, that he could have the amount of sessions he had and could train as often as he did. He will benefit from that definitely during the season and from there we go.

Darwin Nunez the cover star for new-look LFC programme
11th August 2022

Order nowDarwin Nunez the cover star for new-look LFC programmeA new season brings a new-look matchday programme with an exciting new cover star in the form of Darwin Nunez for Liverpool's first competitive home game of 2022-23.

On how the Reds’ performance against Fulham has been ‘addressed’ this week…

Addressed, of course – after the game directly. With my English, I’m not sure if ‘attitude’ is the right thing but we had a slow start, I didn’t like the start at all. I saw then the attitude to fight back but that’s a different thing. It’s better you have a high-intense, high-concentrated, lively start in a football game than not. But it’s very often a game starts like this, that’s not a problem; first pass you turn it to the full-back, pass it backwards, next one gets blocked by the winger. That is always, ‘OK, come on, switch on now’ and that took too long in this game.

When we wanted to fight back we gave already parts of the momentum to Fulham, which was absolutely unnecessary because we played a really not good game and still could have scored more goals. Imagine we would have found [our way] really back in the game? We had our moments in the second half. We had moments in the first half but really not enough. So if I make now a big fuss of it and talk every day about it, imagine that? That would be strange as well. We try to make sure we are ready for this game. We were more often ready than not and that’s what we have to be again, nothing else. Having a slow start doesn’t mean you have to start slow all the time or you will never do it again, but it’s a sign – use it as information, change it and go from there.

On the encouraging signs of Salah and Nunez’s developing partnership...

It’s a cool partnership, definitely. It’s two players who are determined to score and be in the decisive areas – I mean behind the line, wherever the line is. It’s very helpful. Mo is in a really good moment and Darwin is settling in. I think Luis [Diaz] just missed the goal, if you want [at Fulham], really good moments, really good situations. [He had] two chances, one was post I think, or crossbar, and then got blocked in another situation. So, a little bit of luck and then he would score and that would help him as well massively. But apart from that this department was not our problem last weekend.

Published 12th August 2022