Jurgen Klopp hails Lallana and Henderson for being "special players without bling, bling, bling all day"

The Liverpool manager has also highlighted the role of James Milner

BY Newstalk 09:05 Sunday 8 January 2017, 9:05 8 Jan 2017

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth. Picture by Adam Davy PA Wire/PA Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's philosophy of the game of football is one of the most talked about aspects of his management. 

The German, who began coaching at a young age, brings a lot of hard running, gegenpressing and no shortage of effort, but in an interview with Jonathan Northcroft of The Times, he highlighted how the biggest part of his style is to focus on the players that he has at his disposal and to get the best out of them. 

There is an obvious example of that in the form of Adam Lallana this season, who has been a different player to the one who arrived at Anfield from Southampton. Although he always had a creative spark and the ability, his tendency to drift out of games left fans frustrated. With seven goals already this season, those days appear to be behind him. 

Speaking to Northcroft in a feature interview, Klopp stated that even from his first coaching job - with Eintracht Frankfurt's under-10s side - he always looked to hang on to the groups of players that he had, rather than changing for the sake of change. 

"I never had a philosophy or something but I had this team," said Klopp. "After the first season the club asked, ‘How many new players do you want?’ I said, ‘I don’t need new players.’ ‘But every year we change.’ I said, ‘Well, this year [we] don’t.’"

While Liverpool's form in the league this year has been impressive, the way that players such as Lallana, James Milner and Jordan Henderson have stepped up to deliver on big occasions has also been key. 

In particular, Klopp singled those sometimes unheralded players out for praise not only because of the way they have been on the pitch, but the support they offer the younger players off it. 

Noting that they have been like mentors to some of the younger players who come to Melwood, he added that they show "it’s possible to be a special player without bling, bling, bling all day."

Pepijn Lijnders, the first-team development coach at Liverpool's academy, plays a key role under Klopp's reign in highlighting the young players from the Kirkby academy, known as the 'Talent Group' who are invited to train with the senior team at Melwood.

Klopp says that there is no pressure on these kids, and that when they visit, "every day is Christmas," as they get to meet some of the club's biggest stars and adjust to life as a player. 

“We can wait. We don’t say you have to be this player at this age. I don’t like when people are judged too early. I’m a man for the second chance," said Klopp. "I had so many second chances in my life. My God, if someone judged you at 17 where would you be?"

As Klopp's side prepare to start their FA Cup campaign, he is also ready to roll out the younger players once again, giving chances to some of those who have already featured to date in the cup competitions, such as Ben Woodburn. 

Their inclusion in the so-called Talent Group has been important, but the manager stated that the main reason they were in his plans in the first place was because of their quality.

“You watch them training and if you are not blind you see that it’s close [between them and senior players] and getting closer."

They will have a chance to prove him right on Sunday afternoon as they welcome Plymouth Argyle to Anfield. 

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week