Jürgen Klopp met with the media to discuss his thoughts on Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea. As with most matches, the boss highlighted the positives of the match and some things that still needed to be worked on. He also discussed Cody Gakpo's role with the club and EPL rule changes, including a smaller technical area.
There was a lot to like about Liverpool's performance vs Chelsea, but there are some areas of concern as well, such as a lack of possession and having only one shot on goal. Klopp addressed both ends of the spectrum.
“I'm OK with a point,” Klopp said. “I saw the game, so I know who could've won... we could've lost as well, that's how it is. I think they had the last chance of the game, right? That would've been a great moment to finish it off. But we had a really good start into the game, [I] liked that a lot. Everything was there what we were working on. [We] scored two wonderful goals, one disallowed for offside, was really close. The build-up to that goal anyway was absolutely top-class. But then we opened the door for Chelsea. We lost the ball in one or two situations which was unnecessary and I think the second goal was around a set-piece. I'm not 100 percent sure.”
Cody Gakpo is listed on the roster as a forward, but he dropped back into a midfield role vs Chelsea.
“He was an eight,” Klopp said. “He had to do what an eight has to do... he played that pretty much all pre-season. He can play different positions. For players that's very important in modern football that we should get rid of these [set positions]. When we decided everybody can have their own number on the back then the No.2 was not a No.2 anymore and a No.6 was not a No.6 anymore... that was the first step in the right direction. I think modern football is like that. Players can play different positions and Dom Szoboszlai didn't play the position in his former club as well, he played more from the wing. Defensively, especially, offensively he was more half-space. So, the role suits him, definitely. He is for us super-important. I think today you could see the first game of the season [there were] a lot of spaces to cover, gaps to close and that was actually our problem in the game.”
It's no secret that Klopp is an animated and passionate manager, so one might think he would find the new regulations defining a smaller technical area more confining. The new rules state that the new dimensions only extend 1 Meter from the team bench. This is not the case, however.
“It is like that in the Champions League, anyway,” he said. “Obviously, we have first-team coaches, we have assistants, and they are all lively. It's absolutely fine, they get up and we just have to get used to it. Around the set-pieces, Pete Krawietz got up and then the fourth official told me, 'He cannot stay [there]' so I said what happens if I sit down. 'Yeah, then he can...' so I sat down. It's absolutely fine. We need to get used to it, but it's fine.”
This was a typical Klopp presser. He has often pointed out in the past that a draw on the road against a good team, while not the best result, is not a bad one. I also like that he advocates for positionless football. That's good to see from a veteran manager when so many who have been around the game as long as he has, resist change.
“I saw the game, so I know who could've won... we could've lost as well, that's how it is.”
“For players that's very important in modern football that we should get rid of these [set positions].”