City will come back strongly next season, insists Klopp
Jurgen Klopp says the new Premier League champions are under no obligation to give a “statement” performance against Manchester City tonight as he shrugged off the suggestion Liverpool had ended their opponents’ era of dominance.
The Liverpool manager expects City to come back strongly next season, but does not believe tonight’s match will offer clues as to who will have the upper hand.
“I don’t think we have to make a statement,” Klopp said. “What would change for next year if we beat City or if they beat us? If we win, people will say we are the best team in the league and if they win people will say City are better, but we won the league. That is really not so important.
“We both have to be ready for next year, not that I will worry too much about City, but that we all have to be ready. You can really see in this moment that [Manchester] United is coming up. People can see how good they are and how good they can be. They will not be worse next year, and Chelsea as well. It is not about City and us.
“It was for one or two years at the top of the table between City and us, and it was about City for the last four or five years. They have all the tools you need to be there more consistently.”
City’s failure to replace Vincent Kompany may have cost them this year and they will lose David Silva in the summer, but Klopp expects a response. “A lot of world-class players are still there. If [Sergio] Aguero gets older, Gabriel Jesus is there. They will not stop,” he said. “I’m very positive about my team. But I cannot deny they are really good and we wanted to beat them. I don’t see any end of any era. I cannot see the end of anything for Man City.”
Klopp has revealed how he took inspiration from New Zealand’s All Blacks to restore pride in the Liverpool jersey. His fascination with the rugby legends goes back to his time as Mainz coach, an influence he took to Anfield.
“In my first season as manager at Mainz, I saw this documentary. I was completely impressed by these big fellas and how they spoke about their past and what it meant to them to play for this team,” he said.
“The last two minutes before the team bus arrived at the stadium, we always listened to the haka and it gave us a little kick. They were the All Blacks, Mainz, their main colour is red, so we made ourselves the All Reds.” Asked if he carried that to Liverpool, Klopp replied: “Yes.”
Red alert: Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool had not ended Manchester City’s era of success and is ready for a battle next season