A Closer Look at Liverpool FC’s Team Culture Under Klopp

How did Jurgen Klopp build a culture that has caught the attention of everyone in sport?

Including interviews with Klopp, Liverpool players and leading management psychologists we discover the 4 secrets of Klopp’s culture at Liverpool (data, a simple plan, inclusivity, psychological safety).

 

Full script of the episode

Over the course of the last 3 years Eat Sleep Work Repeat has never covered sport. It’s often a tricky one to make direct parallels with our rather more mundane jobs. But today you should see two episodes drop into your feed – with a new non sport episode next. Alongside this episode about Jurden Klopp’s team culture is an episode about the Barcelona approach to team culture – based on a long discussion with Damien Hughes author of The Barcelona Way. Across both episodes you’re going to hear lots of evidence of how the very best operators in sport make work better.

As ever the very best way to stay connected with Eat Sleep Work Repeat is to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, there’s almost 500 5 star reviews there so feel free to rate us at the same time. You’ll find episodes, transcripts and other good stuff on the website EatSleepWorkRepeat.com.

Best articles to read more:

New York Times on Liverpool and data

Melissa Reddy interview

A look at Klopp

How to improve engagement

Data and Liverpool

WATCH: How Jürgen Klopp made Liverpool BELIEVE again

Jurgen Klopp finished last football season on top of the world. While his Liverpool side missed out on winning the English Premier League, finishing a single point behind Champions Manchester City, Liverpool did manage to win the most coveted cup in club football The Champions League Trophy. Klopp himself is a rare breed. A man whose force of character has made him transcend the interest of those who follow football. Ask most people who don’t even have an interest in the sport – definitely in the UK and probably even further astray – their opinion of Klopp and you’ll almost certainly get a positive response. Why is he so popular? 

It’s clearly that emanates a sense that he’s loving life. Here is he is seconds after the final whistle in Madrid.

What are the secrets of his success? Are there any lessons that we can learn about the wider world of work? About motivation, about making our own teams more effective? In this episode we’re going to hear from Klopp and from other commentators about what might explain the Jurgen Klopp effect.

Klopp’s first break into coaching took place at Mainz the club he played at for the 11 years of his professional career. It was here that Klopp learned the system that would become his clearplan that would underpin his whole managerial career – the gegenpress – a collective system of defending that to a casual eye looks like hounding every player with the ball to win it back and then a fiery gallop towards the goal.

Klopp’s manager at Mainz was Wolfgang Frank, a man credited with introducing the 4-4-2 to German football, Frank is often cited by Klopp as his biggest inspiration.

Peter Krawietz, Klopp’s assistant at Anfield, explained the significance of Frank’s work:

“Wolfgang Frank had an idea of football which was something like a revolution in Germany based on a style of pressing and defending.

“It was new in Germany to play in a back four and play this way. Mainz was the first to do it and the success was unbelievable. Frank was a very important person for all of us when he came to Mainz.”

When Frank was forced to step down in 2001 the club struggled to find anyone who understood the gegenpress, and reluctantly asked Klopp to manage them until the end of the season. He was under clear instructions that he couldn’t do the role as a player manager so he retired from his playing. 

Klopp had spent years playing in this heretical system of having a back four without a sweeper and the concept of defending narrowly in certain areas of the pitch was second nature to him. It came less easily to those who’d understand former tactics.

The book Bring the Noise by Raphael Honigstein reports that Klopp had loved how “everybody had to go where the ball was. The aim was to create numerical superiority to win the ball, then sprawl out, like a fist that opens.” 

At Mainz he built on Wolfgang Frank’s blueprint taking the team first to promotion and then scoring 11th place finishes. For his first season in the Bundesliga Mainz had the smallest budget and the smallest stadium in the league. But after two 11th slots he weathered relegation in his third season. He took it well, Klopp was quoted as saying “People and the club have reacted in a classy manner. Here people will never be idiots for losing a game”.

It was off the field activities that probably gave him his next break. His larger than life punditry at the 2006 World Cup on German channel ZDF made him a beloved household name. Snobbery might have questioned how a 2nd division coach could credibly talk about international football but his entertaining no nonsense communication quickly won fans on a show with a vast nationwide audience. It was clear that he was a supreme communicator.

Here he is year’s later telling German publication DW Kickoff why this is his main skill.

After 7 years managing Mainz his fame helped propel him to manage at Bundesliga club Dortmund.

It was at Dortmund that Klopp started fine tuning his approach. He instructed his players to foster their geil – a word that approximately translates as being horny. Explaining this Klopp told a magazine:”The language I use is important, I need to get through to my players. But I don’t use geil to come across as young or cool. I simply don’t have a better word to describe something I happen to find exorbitantly beautiful”.

It was at Dortmund that Klopp realised the importance of culture to creating his vision. The Dortmund team spent a lot of time together building sync. Both in person and notably he also encouraged them to connect with each other at night on their games consoles.

Here’s Klopp talking about the culture he likes to create within teams.

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In the higher pressure environment at Dortmund Klopp realised the value of instructing his teams to live in the moment. His philosophy was about never focussing on the end of the season goals, just on the next game. Training had a fixed pattern being competitive and importantly incredibly focussed on fun.

Hans-Joachim Watzke at Dortmund said that of Klopp: “his punchlines are perfect. Jurgen is never monotonously or predictable, that keeps everyone’s attention”.

Klopp achieved a rare thing leaving his first two clubs as a beloved legend. Few managers leave clubs as fans’ favourites but winning back to back Bundesliga titles and getting the club to the champions league final meant that Klopp was seen to have exceeded all expectations.

When Klopp was approached to be Liverpool manager he was on a year’s break. He famously won people over by contrasting his own style to the last decade’s bombast of Mourinho’s Special One as being far more humble.

So now after 3 years at Liverpool Klopp has moved the club on to winning the Champions League and creating the foundations for more success to come. Let’s look now at the cultural secrets of Jurgen Klopp.

Work culture

The Klopp story goes to the heart of our fascination with work culture. Can one workplace do better than another because their culture is better? A lot of managers focus on the tactics of a game or the strategy of a business. But are they missing something important by not thinking of how they make people feel?

Is there a secret to Jurgen Klopp’s winning culture at Liverpool and what can any of us learn about our own workplaces.

Of course the allure of the story of football managers is that somehow here’s someone who’s able to get a 10 out of 10 result from a 6 out of 10 team. 

We’re going to look at 4 secrets of Jurgen Klopp’s style of cultural management. While it can look like a culture built on love and adrenalin, it’s far more than that. The pillars of Liverpool’s success are 1) Using the Data, 2) Having a clear Plan, 3) Being Relentlessly Inclusive and 4) Creating Psychological safety.

Let’s start with the most boring sounding of those: data.

DATA 

Whether we like it or not data plays a big part in the outcome of sport. In his book Soccernomics. Simon Kuper and his co author Stefan Szymanski reminds us that in fact most of what happens in football is entirely predictable, based on the data. At the highest level Brazil’s population is bigger than Germany’s, Germany’s population is bigger than England’s, ergo by rights Brazil/Germany/England is the likely order of their standings over time.

The other thing is that Simon Kuper and  Stefan Szymanski tell us that despite the romance that we bring to the stories we tell, usually managers matter very little to the success of a club. Probably the football fairy story of our lifetimes will be Leicester City under Claudio Ranieri winning the Premier League in 2016 but Kuper and Szymanski say that Ranieri’s firing ⅔ into the following season with only 5 wins on the board was the reversion to the mean. Freak successes like that are just statistical aberrations against the norm.

According to Soccernomics what determines success is principally the wage bill of clubs. There’s a very strong correlation between the highest wage bill and the biggest success.

Of course where any statistical analysis falls down is in taking a single year. The most recent wage bill records are for 2017-2018 season. The biggest wage bill that year was Manchester United of £296m, Liverpool were second on £264m and Manchester City were third on £260m. United actually finished 2nd that year to Man City.

And there’s why a fascination with this data is never easy. We get lost in a mess of anecdote, exceptions and narrative fallacy.

This is where Liverpool’s approach to data is different. They aim to use data to buck the trend.

You may well have read or watched Moneyball which was about Billy Beane at baseball’s Oakland As breaking the golden rule that the team with the most money achieves the best results by the use of data. 

One fascinating nuance about soccer is that the average football game has fewer than 3 goals. It means that luck can play a bigger part in the outcome of matches – far more so that in other sports. And it also means that trends in data can sometimes be more opaque than in other sports.

In a wonderful article in the New York Times this May, the writer Bruce Schoenfeld went behind the scenes meeting the Liverpool FC’s director of research, Ian Graham. There can’t be many premiership clubs who employ a doctor of theoretical physics to run their mathematical modelling but Liverpool are far more data driven than other clubs.

If you listen to the other football episode of Eat Sleep Work Repeat that comes alongside this you’ll hear Management Professor Damian Hughes describe the culture at Liverpool as bureaucratic. It seems a surprise. How could this vibrant lively place be seen as bureaucratic. Maybe it’s not quite the right word but this is a culture that is underpinned by the work that goes on in the back office.

Liverpool’s owners The Fenway Group, also were responsible for bringing the same mathematical rigours to baseball to last year’s World Series winners the Boston Red Sox.

This approach hasn’t always won praise – especially when Liverpool extended their seasons without winning anything. The Irish Independent newspaper spoke for many when it wrote that “Jurgen Klopp must be wary of owners’ reliance on analytics to assess players”

But Klopp is the first to admit that his own hiring was down to the analysis done by the Liverpool mathematicians. He was quoted in the article in the New York Times as having observed.  “The department there in the back of the building? They’re the reason I’m here.”

As well as seeking out Klopp, Ian Graham’s data was also the reason why Liverpool signed Mo Salah who was brought in from playing in Italy after he’d previously weathered a brief unsuccessful spell in the Premiership at Chelsea. Salah repaid the mathematician’s model by breaking the premier league record by scoring 32 times in the 2017-18 season. While a committee signs off the final contracts it’s the backroom data that brings every single player decision to the table.

A clear plan

Secondly the critical factor for Liverpool is that they have a clear plan to the way they play. Klopp loves entertaining attacking football but it’s built on the foundations of the Geggenpress. The counter press. A strong defensive organisation behind everything they do.

Klopp has previously described this combination as heavy metal football. He was quoted as saying that the tika taka possession of football wasn’t for him. He said  “It is not my sport. I don’t like winning with 80% [possession]. Sorry that is not enough for me. Fighting football, not serenity football, that is what I like.

Here’s management professor Damian Hughes.

Over his first season and a half Klopp slowly evolved their formation to a core back 4 but with a far more fluid front 6.

After Hull City were thrashed 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield, Curtis Davies tried to explain how it felt to defend against Klopp’s men.

“They are a side which literally plays with Henderson and the two centre-halves at the back and the rest can go wherever they want.

“That is not an ill-disciplined thing. That is organised. That is what causes all the problems – the inter-changing, the good football, the passing…”

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And this is critical. Klopp – for all the talk of energy and fun, is a coach with a clear plan.

It’s said that Klopp routinely meets any player before he signs them. To that meeting he brings two questions: “do you like to train?” and “do you like to run?” Two very basic questions but an illustration that he wants someone who will fit in the heavy metal approach.

Its clear that Klopp knows that once a game begins it is simplicity that helps players get through. He knows that infront of 30, 40, 50 thousand fans complex tactical changes are lost on players.

Here he is explaining that during the game it’s less about giving instructions it’s more about giving energy. Forgive the background noise.

Here’s Klopp explains why his simple heavy metal approach is about being high tempo and exciting. He’s learned that a combination of high energy and a motivated, partisan crowd seems to create a spectacle that is both entertaining and befuddling for the opposition.

This use of energy is why some around Klopp suggest that he’s not always a strategic mastermind. Pepijn Lijnders who returned to Liverpool to become Klopp’s assistant after a brief spell as a manager in his own name, suggests the Reds boss places more importance on what happens off the field rather than specific details of a plan. Lijnders told the Dutch newspaper De Volksrant. quote “Jurgen creates a family. We always say: 30 per cent tactic, 70 per cent team building,”

Here’s star defender Virgil van dijk explaining what that approach feels like first hand.

It’s this simplicity of approach that might earn Klopp some critics. Here’s football writer Jonathan Wilson

Klopp himself is dismissive of him having any strategic mastermind. Gary Lineker for BT Sport asked him what his management philosophy is.

But maybe it’s the simplicity of the plan that is the critical element here. As Klopp says himself it is everyone’s job to defend and they they have fun when they attack. In world where sometimes we can all find ourselves overcomplicating things this honesty is actually refreshing.

So I guess it raises the question of whether  enthusiasm can actually be a secret weapon? Can it unlock something that management psychologists sometimes call discretionary effort.

Discretionary effort is bang in the middle of the big debate about worker engagement. Are workers – or players – who feel more connected to the boss and the team’s purpose more likely to do more and work harder?

There’s been lots of surveys that set out to prove this. And it certainly can work the other way. One of the challenges of work is that it’s often hard to tell who is pulling their weight.

A French professor Max Ringelmann discovered this in a novel experiment. volunteers were first asked to pull on a rope with all of their strength, they were then signed up to a tug of war. This tug of war used a special rope that could measure how much effort everyone was applying individually as well as collectively. The results showed that as individuals joined the team activity the total effort was less than what they were capable of. Pairs tended to contribute about 93% of the sum of their personal capacity, groups of three pulled 85% of their potential. By the time that a group reached a size of 8 people were contributing about 49% of their maximum strength. This is called Social Loafing. When we’re hidden in a crowd we sometimes don’t give our all. A manager who can unlock the maximum effort could potentially achieve breakout results.

The correlation between engagement and performance is a fascination for obvious reasons.

In an analysis of 50 global companies, consulting firm Towers Watson found that companies with low engagement scores had an average profit margin of just under 10 percent. But those firms with high engagement had a slightly higher margin of 14 percent. The superstar firms with the highest engagement scores had an average profit margin of 27 percent.

So could higher engagement in the Liverpool squad be the reason why they perform so well?

By Klopp extravertly expressing interest in employees is he dragging up their engagement and connection to the cause?

Measuring and building engagement is seriously big business. The biggest workplace survey in the world is conducted by Gallup – almost 2 million workers across more than 70 countries.  Work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 17% in productivity, 20% in sales, and 21% in profitability.

Gallup makes it clear that they think employee engagement can be shifted and largely reflects the actions of managers. Yes, like Klopp.

One of the challenges of this engagement industry is that once something is measured and the benefits of it are identified it becomes a business KPI. Enter Goodharts Law

Goodhart’s law is an adage named after British economist Charles Goodhart. Goodhart’s law says that “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” A boss decides that when his team makes more calls they generate more revenue. So he sets the goal to double the number of calls. Sure enough the number of calls double but business falls, why? Because low quality easy calls are prioritised rather than the lengthier calls that end in business. Targeting engagement doesn’t always achieve the right result.

So back to Klopp. By his caring approach it seems that he’s forging a closer bond with his players.

To consider how he does that lets consider the next element in the Klopp approach and that it is being inclusive.

The first thing that defines the Klopp culture is that it is inclusive and this approach goes a long way beyond the first team.

When the manager first joined Borussia Dortmund he told everyone that he wanted to create a feeling of ‘we’. That they were all part of it. When someone told him that some corporate customers had given up their VIP seats he personally picked up the phone to see if they would reconsider. Its amusing to imagine how the call would have gone.

on joining Liverpool Klopp made the point of learning the names of all eighty employees at Melwood the clubs training ground. He lined them all up in the dining hall and introduced them to the players. This proved remarkably powerful, the new arrival taking time to introduce the people he’d only just got to know himself. Everyone there should be henceforth on first name terms. It was a gesture that spoke to walls coming down. Klopp explained to the whole group that they all had a responsibility to help each other achieve their best. He told the team’s social organisers that they should expect social events to increase in frequency.

Creating that sense of inclusivity, a sense of family is critical to the Klopp approach. Sometimes when we are hatching business plans and models we can forget that we’re not taking about metal hammers and metal nails, we dealing with people with anxieties, emotions and feelings. Klopp more than anything excels at these soft skills.

And talking about the boys connects sincerely with the players.

Here’s Virgil van Dijk after the Champions League final when asked about the impact of the manager.

Klopp works hard to make the players feel valued. Seeing how Klopp talks and embraces his players brings to mind the extraordinarily successful coach of the Golden State Warriors in NBA Basketball. Here’s a supercut of Kerr talking on 5 or 6 different occasions to Steph Curry, a player whose game is reliant on confidence in his outrageously audacious long range shooting. Listen to how Kerr’s comments almost feel like Neuro linguistic programming, like he’s trying to hypnotise Curry with supportive praise.

This inclusivity feels very natural and honest, it’s possible to imagine that someone with less EQ might get this wrong. Klopp’s inclusive humanity comes across time and time again. In Bring the Noise former Dortmund press officer Josef Schneck recounts how he had mentioned in passing that his mother was soon about to turn 90. Klopp replied “shouldn’t I come and congratulate her?” Sure enough after asking when the date was coming near he turned up on the day with some cake. As Schneck says no one could believe that Jurgen Klopp was sitting amongst her friends “To him it was the most natural thing” he says. 

It might be strange talking about a manager being inclusive but even though the job appears to be just a coach and a squad of 20 or so player breaking down barriers is very much Klopp’s way to build a rapport with the team.

Let’s make a contrast at this point. It is not the norm to have such a close bond in a team of football players. In fact even the most successful manager of the last decade Pep Guardiola doesn’t get close.

It’s hard on substance to criticise Pep Guardiola but his formers players often seem keen to unburden themselves of their reservations of his approach. Former Bayern player Bonfim Dante

Said “There are coaches that are world class in terms of tactics, but on the human side of things aren’t that good,Pep Guardiola doesn’t talk with the players so you never know what is going on.”

Zlatan Imbrahimovic had a famous falling out with Guardiola, and he said “After few months the philosopher didn’t speak to me anymore”.

Samuel Eto said “He didn’t have the courage to tell me things to my face,”

Bayern player Frank Ribery made what many regarded as a public dig at Guardiola after the Catalan left the club. Referring to the new manager Carlo Ancelotti he said the italina “knows how to treat his player” and well on to say Ancelotti was “QUOTE a gift for Bayern and with him I feel confident again,”

Former Bayern player Medhi Benatia described Guardiola as distant from the players he manages. Alexander Hleb went one further, saying “I don’t think Guardiola was the best coach in the world; he trained the best team with the best players,”

In contrast with this flow of criticism Klopp’s talk about his boys feels very different. Josef Schneck, press officer for Dortmund says that Klopp told him that: “A coach who doesn’t love his players can’t be a good coach”.

The writer Tony Schwartz says that the objective of bosses should be to envisage themselves as chief energy officers – and that means transferring inclusive energy of the sort that Klopp uses. Schwarz says “sustainably engaged employees, for example, 74 percent in the study believed senior leaders had a sincere interest in their well-being…. while only a miniscule 18 percent of disengaged employees felt their managers genuinely cared about their well-being

This inclusive family style atmosphere is something that Wharton psychologist Sigale Barsade calls ‘companionate love’. She says that often leaders think that we shouldnt express emotions at work, but in fact this bond seems to unlock a better performance in workers. Here Professor Barsade describes her research looking at the impact of this companionate love among workers in a care home.

Watching Klopp’s interactions with his team it would be easy to say the secret is his charisma. But it’s not that. As we’ve said before he values entertainment and is no fan of hierarchy.

He’s certainly entertaining but he uses that skill to make people feel closer to him. And it certainly works. Here he’s giving a press conference after a win.

One of his classmates at school Harmut Rath reported that “Jurgen was a genius in telling jokes he made everyone in class laugh… the life and soul of the classroom”.

As an extrovert he tries to communicate that everyone needs to play a part in creating a team dynamic.

Klopp there mentioned Karen and Caroline – part of the staff at Melwood Training ground – part of that line-up.

Klopp has a philosophy of entertainment. In interviews he clearly empathetises that people who go and watch games are looking for colour in their lives, the games should be a release of passion,

Christian Heidel – the former sporting director at Mainz who elevated Klopp from defender to manager in 2001 reported that Klopp’s secret weapon was always his passion.

“I’ve known Jürgen for 30 years and he has remained the same, he is always authentic,” says Heidel.

He goes on: “Of course he has learned. In 2. Bundesliga he seemed to be sent to the stands [by referees] every four weeks because he often had no control over his emotions. Now he has them mostly under control. He is sincere and honest”.

Mike Gordon president of the Fenway Sports Group, owners of Liverpool:

He was struck by “the enormity of substance”. “It wasn’t about ‘boy this guy is really charming’… Very quickly, what came across was the breadth of talent: not just the personal side but the level of intelligence, the kind of analytical thinking, the logic, the clarity and honesty, his ability to communicate so effectively even though English wasn’t his first language”.

So inclusivity is Klopp’s secret and entertainment helps him deliver it.

The obsession of bringing everyone close has led to some misteps. Early in his reign Klopp was annoyed that fans were leaving the game early. He felt it was a sign that the crowd wasn’t living up to their part of the deal. Here’s Damian Hughes again.

This led to some awkward moments. Klopp’s first defeat had come when Scott Dann had put Crystal Palace 2-1 up eight minutes from time.  The goal prompted home fans to flock for the exits.

To try to change this leaving mentality after one game Klopp took the team out to take a bow and salute the Kop at the end of a 2-2 draw with West Brom. It was intended as a thank you to those who stayed. Some saw it as revelling in taking a point from the Baggies.

But for good or for bad inclusiveness seems to have a massive impact on Klopp’s culture at Liverpool. In 2018 Klopp spoke to legendary sport journalist Donald McRae

Klopp mentioned a secret unfulfilled desire to be a doctor. “I have this helping syndrome,” Klopp told McRae. “I really care about people and I feel responsible for pretty much everything.” The inclusivity of Liverpool FC is the result.

An article by the journalist Melissa Reddy in October 2018 reports that the culture of closeness had never felt better.

A few of Liverpool’s longest-serving employees have commented that the culture of closeness and excellence fostered under Klopp in West Derby has never been stronger during the modern era.

Here’s Jordan Henderson on the pitch in Madrid.

This brings us on to our final part of the Klopp formula. We’ve looked at Data, a clear plan, inclusivity and finally psychological safety.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY

Here’s Damian Hughes, organisational psychology professor and author of the Barcelona way.

So what is Psychological safety? The phrase was coined in 1980 by William Kahn

Psychological safety is a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking. It’s characterised by a mutual honesty, honesty of the team with the boss and the boss with the team.

Damien Hughes works with teams across the premiership, international rugby and more. He explains what the absence of safety might look like.

So how does Klopp build this safety? He urges his team to Take chances:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain talked to the Telegraph after a return from long-term injury

“He would say: ‘I don’t watch you shooting all week [in training] to try to be (Andres) Iniesta and thread a pass.’

“He would scream at me ‘SHOOOOOT!’ It goes in or it misses but in his head it is, ‘So what? Mo (Sala) and Sadio (Mane) are running in.'”

Klopp himself went on to explain this approach:

“This is very important. What we need to create is where they understand completely that the only criticism they need to take is mine – not because I’m the only one that knows anything, but because I’m the one they have to pay attention to,” he explains.

“I’m the one giving them the direction together with our backroom and support team. So it makes no sense to trust what people who are not involved in the process think.

“I will use the example of Arjen Robben. Whatever the world says about him, or thinks about him – he delivers.

One of the ways that this safety is reinforced is the way that mistakes are dealt with. Aside from this year’s Champions League final Liverpool of course were the defeated finalists in 2018 –  a 3-1 loss to Madrid in Kiev. The story of that game was of the two goal deficit being down to two calamitous goal keeping errors by loris karius. The first where karius absent mindedly rolled the ball into the path of the right foot of Karim Benzema.  Repeated viewing doesn’t overcome the sense of WTF. But here is Klopp minutes after that defeat unwilling to blame the keeper.

Of course after the drama Karius saw the data of Ian Graham suggest he should be displaced by a record signing of the Brazilian Allison and then sent on a 2 year loan to a team in Turkey.

Here’s Damien Hughes again

This psychological safety is reliant on honesty and candid discussion. One Dortmund player who Klopp was trying to woo reported that unlike other managers Klopp didn’t over promise. He didn’t make empty promises. Asking what a player expected from Dortmund the player said ‘to play as much as possible’, the manager replied ‘That’s not possible. I can’t promise you’ll play that often, but you’ll learn an incredible amount’.

Psychological safety is about letting players know they won’t be blamed for giving everything they’ve got.

That spirit of taking chances often takes people’s breath away. In the semi final second leg at Anfield viewers witnessed a moment of audacity that bears up to hundreds of repeat viewings. On winning a corner, local hero Alexander Trend Arnold steps up to take the kick.

As the nature with these things he appears to have second thoughts and walks away from the flag. Within the blink of an eye the full back is back in the corner striking the ball through a crowd of inattentive Barcelona players. Even the player it was aimed at Origi seemed to be caught off guard. It didn’t stop Origi skillfully guiding it home to make the score a mermerising 4 nil on the night.

Of course what managers often miss is that if we want our teams to be creative we can’t punish them for mistakes. Klopp goes out of his way to show that no one will pay the price for making mistakes.

Jurgen Klopp has built something remarkable at Liverpool FC he’s built success founded on 4 critical elements:

Data, a clear plan, inclusiveness and psychological safety.

Few would deny him his success so far but what’s next?

Here’s Damien Hughes with a cautionary note.

Let’s leave things with Klopp himself.

I’ve been Bruce Daisley – today’s episode is written and produced by me. All errors are entirely mine.