LONDON. — Jurgen Klopp waltzed into the Liverpool hot-seat three months ago intent on bringing a style of play which worked so well for him at Dortmund to the English Premier League. It’s fair to say the high-intensity, free-flowing football has come with mixed results, with consistency a problem for the German boss.
Reds fans, however, are sure they’ve got their man for many years to come.
But after the impressive Capital One Cup 1-0 win at Stoke City on Tuesday night was marred by Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren hobbling off to take the Anfield injury count to 11, has Klopp “Gegenpressed” his players too hard?
That’s certainly the view of former manager Roy Evans, who questioned Klopp’s training methods.
“The injuries are a massive worry,” Evans told talkSPORT. “I wonder what kind of training Jurgen is doing in between matches. It seems like he is trying to do mini pre-seasons between games and if you’re playing at that intensity in games and then do heavy training sessions you’re going to end up with these muscle injuries.
“They’ve got four or five hamstring injuries, so something is not right somewhere. You’ve got to look at what you’re doing at training and maybe be a bit more sensible.”
Liverpool legend Graeme Souness also reckons Klopp’s style of play has contributed to Liverpool’s hamstring injury crisis.
Coutinho, Lovren and Kolo Toure all strained their hamstrings against Stoke on Tuesday night, while Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Martin Skrtel and Jordan Rossiter are on the sidelines nursing the same injury.
Though the Reds beat the Potters 1-0 in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final, Souness also thinks the players are struggling with the demands that Klopp’s high-pressing style requires.
“Jurgen Klopp came in after 11 games and the players, certainly the players who were playing, would have had good fitness,” Souness said.
“All the talk was ‘we’re going to be energetic, we’re going to be high press at every opportunity’. That demands real fitness.
“It’s a difficult balance coming in after 11 games to push the players when they’re playing two, maybe three games a week, weekend, midweek, weekend. I think it’s a hard thing, a big ask to do that and not suffer the problems they’ve suffered.”
Coutinho was forced off after 16 minutes, while Toure will present a real concern, with the Reds depleted in defence.
But Adam Lallana insists Klopp’s training regime is not to blame for a spate of hamstring problems which have left Liverpool with an injury crisis.
The mounting injuries have led some to speculate as to whether Klopp’s “gegenpressing” style is too much for the players, with Sky Sports pundit Souness suggesting it was time for the manager to consider modifying training, but Lallana disagrees.
“We have had a change of manager this season. When that happens, lads look to impress more and give more,” said the England international. “But I don’t think these injuries have got anything to do with any changes to our training.
“We’ve had so many games recently that we’ve mainly been doing recovery sessions between games, so it’s not as if the training has been really intensive. You can’t blame that. Sometimes you are just unlucky with injuries and we’ve had a lot of bad luck recently. — Mailonline.