Revealed: What happened when Klopp and his coaches signed new LFC contracts

ExcerptRevealed: What happened when Klopp and his coaches signed new LFC contracts

Published 3rd August 2022

It was a successful and memorable 24 hours for Pepijn Lijnders.

In our third and final excerpt from his new book Intensity, which is released on Thursday, Liverpool’s assistant manager divulges details of the day he joined Jürgen Klopp, Peter Krawietz and Vitor Matos in signing contract extensions with the club.

Lijnders reveals that this momentous occasion occurred just hours after the Reds had delivered what he considered their best performance of 2021-22 to that point, while also explaining why he did not pause for celebration afterwards.

Read the excerpt below…

The first leg of the Champions League semi-final became the best game we’d played in the season so far. Not the highest score, or the biggest impact in progressing, but we were always calm and protected. It showed we understood the task. The fluidity and intensity was madness.

There was a spell of three or four minutes at 13 minutes in, that shows this so well. The hardest thing in football is making a good team look weaker than they actually are. We avoided set-pieces and found the outside player early time after time. We stopped counter-attacks and had bodies in the box with real consistency. I would say that is controlling a game by being dominant.

Hendo’s deflected cross opened the scoring in the second half after he made the run on the outside. Then Mo slid in Sadio for 2-0 two minutes later. Anfield went nuts. I couldn’t think for a second after the crowd roared Allez, Allez, Allez after Mane’s goal. It was a sound of power, real power.

So, 2-0, half-time and in six days we would have the possibility to reach the final in Paris. The following day we would sign and announce our new 2026 deals. So this was only the start…

The following morning at AXA, Jonathan, Julian, Jürgen, Pete, Marc and Vitor were all standing inside the manager’s office.

Mike Gordon spoke to us all: “This project has been the most incredible experience of my life. Thank you for contributing and having this important role.” 

“Thank you, Mike, for the trust,” I replied.

Mike continued: “In 2015 I was standing in front of Stevie’s restaurant and said we were going to conquer the world together. I’m not saying that happened but we are not far off.” 

Mike added: “In life, the most precious currency we spend is our time; who we choose to spend that currency with says everything about us as people. I feel so privileged to be able to spend my currency of time with you and our group.”

Everyone clapped, signed and we moved on. Marc and Mike [Jäggle] represent me so well. I’m so happy they are at my side having the same values and same ambition. 

I walked straight out to the training pitch to put everything in place. Work goes on, we need to keep building the future. It wasn’t the right moment to celebrate this new deal, I felt; there was too much at stake. I just couldn’t feel it. It’s sad but true. Move forward, we should just never settle. I hate that feeling. Especially when the next kick-off was only 48 hours away. We would practise stopping counter-attacks with an intense and concentrated counter-press. Defend to create chances.

Pre-order Intensity here and follow the links below to read two more excerpts from the book.

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Published 3rd August 2022