Jurgen Klopp talks about Erik ten Hag’s Premier League start, compares it to that of his own start
The German drew a comparison between his start to managing Liverpool and Ten Hag’s start to life at Man United. Klopp believes he had it “much easier” as he inherited the squad after the transfer window. And due to that, he had some leeway in regards to expectations.
‘I think for me it was easier because I didn’t come for the start of the season, we didn’t have a transfer window. In England people tend to say then, “Yeah, it’s not his team”. So whatever I did, you would have said, ‘It’s not his team.’
In the one pre-season game Liverpool faced ten Hag’s team, the Reds went on to lose 4-0. Speaking about that game, Klopp said it was rather “obvious” what Ten Hag achieved to do with Manchester United.
“You could see and feel the high-press idea and these kind of things.”
The Dutchman has tried to introduce a high-pressing style of play at United. He wouldn’t have imagined the disastrous start to the campaign United are currently going through. They’re winless out of two games, and are dead last on the table, two gameweeks into the season.
Klopp also acknowledged the “quality” United had in midfield alongside their calibre up-front. One could only wonder whether this is “mind games” or the German actually praising his opposition even though they’ve had the worst start in the league.
“Football quality in midfield, whoever lines up he will have (Christian) Eriksen, (Bruno) Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Fred and (Scott) McTominay. There’s real quality there.”
Liverpool also haven’t had the best start to their season. Drawing two out of as many games is the thing one could least expect from the Merseysiders given their dominance in all four competitions last season. Klopp’s men would certainly look to get back on winning terms, and no better occasion than a derby.
Manchester United have strengthened their midfield, signing Casemiro from Real Madrid which would certainly help their cause. The Brazilian is in contention to be in the matchday squad for United’s next fixture, after Liverpool.
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With ten Hag having an abundance of options to choose from, and Klopp having not so many, it will be interesting to see how the North West teams line-up. Liverpool are also without the services of Darwin Nunez, who is serving a suspension after he picked up a red card against Crystal Palace.