Jurgen Klopp has a new status as a Premier League manager this summer, but some things will never change while at Liverpool.
During his four full seasons, August has always been a month of answering questions about transfers. Supporters’ hunger to see new signings is unrelenting, and in the run-up to the new campaign, Thiago Alcantara – who will be leaving Bayern Munich – is at the top of their wish list.
As Chelsea are spending a lot of money and Manchester City figure out a way to bring in Lionel Messi, Liverpool fans are getting nervous that the title their team so breathtakingly won last season will be abandoned without any additions.
Jurgen Klopp maintains that his focus is on achieving further progress from the squad at his disposal
The club has been linked with Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara during a quiet summer
Klopp remains optimistic, however. He loves Thiago, for whom Bayern wants £ 30 million, but his immediate goal is to win the Community Shield, as well as the ambition to make further progress from a team that took 99 points on their way to the title. That is more important than any transfer.
“Every year is more difficult,” said Klopp, who has signed £ 11 million to Greece as left back Kostas Tsimikas so far. ‘Was it easy last year? Certainly not. It looked like it was at times, but that was only because we were a result machine. That is the only reason. It was difficult in every game. We had to fight so hard.
‘If you make a lot of changes to a team, that’s good. But in the long term it is better than in the short term because you have to get used to each other. It’s not a big advantage – it’s a small benefit – but we are used to each other. We know what we are doing at specific times.
Greek left back Kosta Tsimikas remains the only addition to Liverpool’s title-winning side
‘We know we have to mix it with a sensational attitude and a sensational desire in the game. It’s not about the players someone will sign.
“When you play on these teams you have to be willing to fight and be ready to win and that’s what we’ve been doing for the past two or three years.”
But how does Liverpool get better? The idea that they could improve their point count for the fifth consecutive year under Klopp and hit three figures will be mocked, not least because the demands placed on all clubs over the next eight months will be physically exhausting.
When you take into account that they’ve won a slew of major awards since the summer of 2019, it’s human nature to think there’s going to be an element of complacency in their game.
The idea that Liverpool has lost some of their hunger will not consider Klopp.
“Motivation will not be our problem,” he said firmly. ‘I do not see it. Will we lose games? I don’t like it, but I probably do. It is how we deal with the different situations.
‘Shall we win a match? Hopefully it is a different challenge. So all these things don’t really change anything.
Klopp refuses to consider the idea that Liverpool will lose their thirst for winning trophies
‘It’s about how you feel when you win and lose and I know this team will not stop trying and that’s all I need.
‘I will not stop trying. I don’t expect everything to happen for me, but I expect to give everything and I expect the guys to do that too.
So it puts us in a position where we can be competitive and that’s the first step to go for a title. It’s just being around when decisions are made. Can we still do it? We have to prove it on the field, nowhere else. ‘
Liverpool lost the Community Shield last season on penalties from Manchester City six weeks after the start of preparatory training. This time they only had 14 days to prepare for the clash with Arsenal and the timing, Klopp admits, is ‘hardly ideal’.
His team won’t be at full strength – there will be a late call to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is expected to sign up for England – but the determination to start how they signed off last month is there and the manager is ready for Liverpool. to deal with having a target on their back.
The Reds boss also admitted the tight turnaround for the Community Shield is “hardly ideal.”
Liverpool are eager to start against Arsenal in the same way as last month
“I want us to be in the mood to want to win every game,” said Klopp, who says he has full confidence in the national federations to guard his players during next week’s international break.
‘It is not so important why other teams want to win from us. It is much more important why we want to win. That’s what we’ll try again. There is no time limit for that.
‘It is surprising that people always think: yes, you can do it first and then you can’t do it anymore. The desire has always been there. That will not change at this club. ‘