Liverpool boss’s play style criticised by football fitness expert

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been criticised by football fitness expert Raymond Verheijen.

The 44 year old expert who has previously worked with clubs such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Netherlands claims that Liverpool have suffered this season due to Klopp’s high intensity style of play.

“Jurgen Klopp has hopefully learned a valuable lesson at Liverpool,” he told Omnisport.

“They implemented the style they were successful with in the first few years at Dortmund. In the last few years they had a lot of injuries and little success, so you have to put their achievement into perspective. But he’s a top coach, you can’t deny that.”

“But they made the classic mistake, like Louis van Gaal [at Manchester United] –they implemented their approach irrespective of the circumstances.”

“Liverpool used to play a passing game with Brendan Rodgers. When you have possession, you spend less energy. So the playing style was less demanding and the players adapted to that.”

“When you implement a more demanding pressing game, the bodies of the players need time to adapt. But if Jurgen Klopp had analysed the situation when he started, he’d have realised they were about to play the most games of anyone in Europe. He implemented a more demanding pressing game in a period when players had less time to recover..”

“What you ask from the players is to recover from more fatigue in a shorter space of time. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that that’s impossible.”

Verheijen also believes that Tottenham may suffer during the last weeks of the season thanks to a similar coaching approach.

“Spurs are in a flow, they’re great to watch, but what you often see is that his teams run out of gas in the last part of the season,” he said.

“That happened at Southampton and in his first season with Spurs.”

“They had some setbacks in the last few weeks, so now the question is will they be able to pick up or will this pattern of losing and drawing develop further. It’s a critical moment for them.”

“He really wants to improve his players individually and his teams as a whole. In pre-season they had double or sometimes triple sessions.”

“But that only works with young players. If Pochettino applies this approach with all the players, it will be a big problem because they will not be able to maintain it.”

“The smart thing he does is that he rotates his team in relation to the Europa League. Although rotation has a negative effect on the tactical development of your team, to keep your players fit and fresh for the whole season, it’s the only thing you can do.”

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