Jurgen Klopp has been hard at work since becoming Liverpool manager in October. After seeing the squad's confidence decimated under Brendan Rodgers, the German had plenty of work to do.
Their 2-2 draw against West Brom may have looked like two points dropped, but Klopp's decision to get his players to bow in front of Anfield's most famous stand appeared to turn Divock Origi's last-minute equaliser into a triumph.
It is all part of Klopp's plan to install a feel-good factor into the club and reconnect the players with the fans. That philosophy doesn't just count for matters on the pitch, as we're about to find out.
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According to the Mirror, Klopp was disturbed to learn that the Liverpool first-team had decided to cancel their Christmas party for the third year in a row. They believed the schedule was just too testing and would be better off putting in more hours on the training pitch than pulling on a Christmas jumper.
So Klopp took action, inviting the Liverpool players – including wives and girlfriends – to a Christmas lunch usually reserved for just him and his backroom staff. As one Anfield source has claimed, it was a decision that went down very well in the dressing room.
Here is what the club insider told the Mirror:
“The players decided that they would have to cancel their Christmas party for the third season in a row because of the schedule.
“They usually postpone it until the New Year – but we have a minimum of seven games in January, so that idea was also abandoned.
“Jurgen heard one of the players saying he had never been to a Christmas party in March before – and he decided he didn’t want them missing out.
“The manager of Liverpool traditionally hosts a lunch for his backroom team and the club’s staff. Jurgen was insistent that this time the players should be invited – along with their wives and partners.
“It’s only a small gesture, but it is one that has really been appreciated by the players and their families.”
Klopp loves Christmas
This is not the first time Klopp has taken drastic action with his squad with regards to Christmas festivities. Former Borussia Dortmund star Oliver Kirch recently revealed that Klopp made sure every player turned up to their Christmas party last year, even though they were sitting inside the Bundesliga relegation zone.
Dortmund had lost ten of their opening 17 Bundesliga matches and were travelling back from their latest defeat, a 2-1 reverse against Werder Bremen, when Klopp sent a text to every player.
The message read: "Don’t think for a second this is optional. Everyone comes, no exceptions."
"You couldn’t have called it a party. It felt more like a funeral, to be honest," Kirch wrote in his book 'Reading The Game - the turning point of last season'.
But it was that decision that helped to turn Dortmund's season around. They would restart the Bundesliga in the new year looking like a new side, eventually snatching a Europa League qualifying place.
Santa is coming to Merseyside!
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