English Premiership

Klopp full of praise for Guardiola

2016-12-30 10:16
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on his Manchester City counterpart, Pep Guardiola, ahead of the EPL clash between the two sides on New Year's Eve.

Guardiola took over the reins at the Etihad after hugely successfully spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but has found life in England somewhat tougher than what he experienced in Spain and Germany.

Prior to this weekend's clash at Anfield, City are in third place in the Premier League, one point behind the Reds and seven adrift of leaders Chelsea.

Speaking to the media ahead of the match, Klopp applauded Guardiola for not taking the easy option and for testing himself in an unfamiliar environment.

"He came here with open eyes. He could have had easier jobs in easier leagues, that is for sure," said Klopp. "He could have gone everywhere. He wanted to come here. He was probably aware 100 per cent of the big challenge.

"He knew he had a wonderful squad at Barcelona and a wonderful squad at Bayern but he had big influence on the way they played football. If you go to Barcelona as a new manager they will tell you: 'By the way, don't forget, we play like Pep Guardiola played.' That's the biggest influence you can have. Bayern loved the years he was there. He is a fantastic manager.

"Johan Cruyff started total football, but Pep made it perfect. He's an outstanding manager, 100 per cent. He's very influential. But the Barcelona style is not possible for each team you play. If a Sunday league team tries to play like Barcelona, they will find it difficult."

While in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Klopp faced Guardiola's Bayern on eight occasions, with both sides winning four times, although the Bavarians did win the Bundesliga in each of the Spaniard's three seasons there.

Although Guardiola's commitment to a possession-based strategy has remained unchanged throughout his managerial career, Klopp knows his rival is far more tactically adept than what he gets credit for.

"Yes they (Bayern) changed their style of play against us a few times," Klopp continued. "A clear philosophy does not mean that you stick to it in each moment. If you have to adapt to your opponent then that is what we all do.

"The style of the game isn't everything, it is kind of important but in the end you only want to get your players looking forward with the ball. How you do it is not important. It is not about having 20 passes. If you have to play a long ball that is good and fighting for a second ball is good too. Then you want to have influence with the ball.

"It is not a big difference between the ideas, but when you look from the outside there is an image that Pep is kind of possession and I am counter-pressing. For me it is not important, I don't need names for things. We play the football we think makes sense and Pep does the same with his team and his ideas.

"I never thought too much about the ideas of other managers - only until before the game when we played them."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Swansea City v Manchester United, Liberty Stadium 13:30
Liverpool v Crystal Palace, Anfield 16:00
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, King Power Stadium 16:00
Southampton v West Ham United, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v West Bromwich Albion, Turf Moor 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Watford, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Stoke City v Arsenal, Bet365 Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United, The John Smith's Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Monday, 21 August 2017
Manchester City v Everton, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The Proteas are currently on tour in England, involved in a four-Test series with their hosts. How will they fare? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.