For a manager close to winning so much Jürgen Klopp is remarkably optimistic about the risk of trophies slipping away from him in the next fortnight. Had he wanted guaranteed success, the Liverpool manager would have accepted one of Bayern Munich’s many job offers. Digging and fighting for it suits his nature better.
The second leg of the quadruple chase takes Liverpool to Wembley for the third time in four months on Saturday in search of their first FA Cup triumph in 16 years. Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid. The strength of each opponent in the way of a historic achievement demonstrates the scale of Liverpool’s task and ensures there is no certainty when the campaign will end. The high stakes and handsome margins don’t worry Klopp, who is so pleased he managed two afternoon naps on Wednesday after Liverpool’s win at Aston Villa the night before.
“Which club should I go to, to have a different situation?” he says when asked about the challenges and points out that the decisive final weeks of the season will bring. “The only thing I could do was ask Pep [Guardiola] if he’s fed up with all this winning and I take over at City. It wouldn’t work, I don’t want to do it. I could have gone to Bayern several times, [where] I could have won more titles in my life, I would say pretty sure – good luck at least. I did not do it. I had a contract here and I never made it.
“The world is not full of winners, the world is full of hopefully trying. And I try and sometimes I win with other people together. I’m happy with that. I’m not always positive give me a second and i’ll find some reason to be optimistic, that’s probably true but that’s it this club has been through some incredibly tough times and have always fought back and if people can’t appreciate the weather that we pass or the team that they have, I would be really touched by them, because it is fantastic what the boys are doing.
“If you’ve seen the Aston Villa game, the situation we’re in, you could write books about the resilience of these boys. One-zero, it’s all like, ‘Ah, this time.’ But no. We are at three points [from City] and seven goals. We will try. We can’t do more and I can enjoy it. If people can’t, I can’t change that.
Winning the FA Cup “would mean the world to us” according to Klopp, although he readily admits to having no personal history with a competition celebrating its 150th anniversary. “I don’t have many FA Cup final memories,” he said. “Are people asked if they have any memories of the DFB-Pokal?” Klopp’s last game in charge of Borussia Dortmund was a DFB-Pokal final against Wolfsburg in May 2015. Kevin De Bruyne was among Wolfsburg’s goalscorers in a 3-1 victory that denied Klopp a farewell tale of fairies.
Seven years on and De Bruyne is still a thorn in the Liverpool manager’s side, scoring four times as City restored a three-point lead in the title race with a 5-1 rout of Wolves on Wednesday. Within a week, when City also announced the signing of Erling Haaland for £51.5m and Sadio Mane was linked to Bayern, Liverpool’s future challenges were clarified, if they weren’t already. . However, Klopp’s priority is the present and savoring every moment of a remarkable pursuit.
“If we’re only happy when we win at the end, every time your race ends, what would that life be?” he says. “When I say, ‘Enjoy the journey’, I really mean it. Enjoy the trip because there have been so many good times already.
“If we stop now, it’s not great that we didn’t win the FA Cup final and we didn’t win the Champions League final and we finished runners-up in the Premier League. Forget it and just say, “Wow, that was a ride.”
“We only cause each other problems as human beings. “Don’t go home without a quadruple”, for example, you will never be happy. If that’s the only way to satisfy you, it’s really difficult. Let’s try. Football matches are sometimes decided by individual players; most of the time they are decided by the whole performance and we can work on the whole performance and have world class players – and we will have world class players.
“It’s not what other teams do and love: ‘God, they signed him.’ I never thought that, to be honest. When they took a player from me and put him there, in Germany quite often, it gives them 20% more, and us 20% less, and that isn’t cool. But as long as they don’t choose us, it’s fine.
Klopp adds: “It [the quadruple] has never been done before, so it’s like the first stop on any island. We know the decisive part is coming now. The warm-up is over and we have the rhythm, finally. Now we can go. »