Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to become ‘unpredictable again’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes rediscovering their unpredictability will help his side by giving opposition teams another dimension to think about.
The Reds boss insists their recent problems have not been caused by being “worked out” as that happened a long time ago, but he is keen to make things less straightforward for rivals.
Klopp deviated from his established 4-3-3 to play 4-2-3-1 in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Rangers after accepting prior to the match he had to find a solution to their issues.
But Klopp insists it was not because opponents had finally discovered ways to expose his tried-and-tested methods as that happened years ago, it was just his team was playing so well they could not effectively implement their plans.
“For us it is much more important for us that we become unpredictable again and we need different systems for that,” he said ahead of Sunday’s trip to Premier League leaders Arsenal.
“It is not the only system we can play: is it 4-4-2, is it 4-3-3 or is it 4-5-1, 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1?
“We don’t want to make it more complicated than it is but there are obviously different systems available for us and we have to choose which one is the best for the next opponent or the best for us in the moment. We have to be more unpredictable, definitely.”
On his tactics being ‘found out’, Klopp added: “Teams worked out how they can play against us when we are not at our best.
“Other teams have worked out how to play against us for years but it didn’t work out for them because we were exceptional.
“In our best games I could show you the parts where we had problems and in the moments when you don’t play on your top (level) these gaps are still there.
“There is no system in the world with no weakness: five at the back, four, three, no one, it is all about how we perform.
“If you look at it you know where the gaps are but you fill it with your movement or are only open for a minute and then you close it.”
For us it is much more important for us that we become unpredictable again and we need different systems for that
On the reason for wanting to be more unpredictable Klopp said he just wanted to give opponents something else to think about and it was not about improving offensively or defensively.
“If you prepare for (playing) us it makes sense that you just have to think twice or three times where there might be something you could use,” he said.
“For us both things are important, defensively being compact and offensively having different players in different positions. Both make sense.”
Midfielder Curtis Jones has returned to training after the shin injury which has forced him to miss the start of the season.
He is closing in on a return to the squad and is likely to be back before left-back Andy Robertson, who is still recovering from an ankle issue.
“Curtis Jones was in training yesterday, it looked good – but that’s now the first session. He’s then probably the closest,” said Klopp.
“They’re in a good way, they do big sessions but Naby (Keita) and Ox (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) is still a little bit away.
“We have one new injury, it’s Arthur Melo. In the last session before the Rangers game, in a normal situation he just injured a muscle.
“We have to wait for further assessment to know exactly how long it will be but he’s out.
“Robbo is running a lot, looks like he’s close. Probably Curtis is now the closest, then Robbo and then the other two step by step.”
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