Jurgen Klopp has vowed success will not change Liverpool’s tune as the “heavy metal” Premier League champions tackle an Arsenal side he once described as an “orchestra”.
Opposite number Mikel Arteta has added a greater tempo to an Arsenal side who strived for sweet music but often hit bum notes in the latter years of Arsene Wenger’s reign, as well as under successor Unai Emery.
The orchestral connection was made by Klopp seven years ago, when he was head coach at Borussia Dortmund but already a keen student of the English game.
Since then, Klopp has brought his loud brand of football to Anfield, with the Reds’ in-your-face, high-octane style of play bringing Champions League and Premier League titles.
On the training ground. In his element.
The boss pic.twitter.com/oXZJL2p0ig
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 26, 2020
Liverpool are defending the latter trophy this season and have brought Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara to the club in an effort to freshen up a championship-winning squad.
But Klopp insists it must be business as usual, while believing he can bring even more out of his new signings than they showed at their respective previous clubs, Wolves and Bayern Munich.
“We have an identity, and we stick to that,” Klopp said. “We think we have a wide range in the way we play, but intensity is always part of it. There’s no reason not to be intense and we think for us there’s no other chance for us to be successful.
“We cannot just want to play like another team and save some energy in this or that moment. We have to do what we have to do on a high intensity.
“Our football, because I’m a pretty simple person, is pretty simple. It’s not rocket science. It’s not that complicated, it just takes time to get used to it – the counter-press, stuff like this.
“It will not take ages I assume, but it will take time and we will see how long.”
Love Klopp quote this morning- On Arsenal ‘ They are like an orchestra / playing a violin- Me I like Heavy Metal more – I want it loud’
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) November 4, 2013
Thiago is a signing that many feel could give Liverpool a marginal gain this season, given his immense success over the last seven years as a midfield mainstay with Bayern.
Klopp does not expect a busy final week of the transfer window, particularly in terms of incoming players, and he was giving nothing away on the prospect of the likes of Rhian Brewster possibly departing.
Monday’s Anfield clash with Arsenal could see Thiago make his first start after a lively 45 minutes against Chelsea.
Klopp is not rushing to enforce a culture change in the midfield that powered Liverpool to a first domestic league title in 30 years, but he is still relishing the sight of his new recruit going through his repertoire.
“We had a pretty good midfield before. All of sudden we announce Thiago Alcantara, and it’s completely normal that people go crazy and mad, draw all the different pictures and asking how we can look now,” Klopp said.
“Football is not like this, you cannot put in a player and say we are 20 per cent better. It’s difficult to improve this team. It’s difficult but it’s possible.
“It’s clear Thiago has natural skills which made him the special player he’s been throughout his career. That’s of course the technique, that’s of course the vision, that’s of course the passing, and that’s of course the way he can demand rhythm. That is something where he is really special.”