The Liverpool manager has built a thrilling side geared to absorb high-level departures such as Philippe Coutinho’s without losing momentum
There was an interesting moment towards the start of Jürgen Klopp’s time at Liverpool, back in the days when he still felt the need to apologise for his already-excellent if amusingly sweary English. Asked about transfer targets, budgets and spending big on new players, Klopp didn’t really answer the question. Instead he grimaced and grumbled, rubbing his eyes behind his glasses like a weary, drink-sozzled chief inspector with a short fuse but a heart of gold being told by one of his hair-gelled sergeants that there are no suspicious circumstances so should he close the case on the mysterious death of Lord Sinister.
Klopp went on to talk about trusting his existing players, about chemistry and coaching and the moral obligation to improve what he had rather than team-build by numbers. Six months later, more confident in his systems, not to mention his command of English metaphor, he came up with the train analogy to describe his idea of a team as something entirely collective, fired by a shared momentum as opposed to opportunist chop and change.