You only need to have watched Borussia Dortmund from 2008 to 2015, or Liverpool for the past year, to realise that Jurgen Klopp is a special manager.
His list of accomplishments includes winning two Bundesliga titles and the DFB Pokal in Germany, as well as appearances in a Champions League and Europa League final.
Klopp is in the midst of recreating the swarming Dortmund team that challenged Bayern Munich at Liverpool, and eight games into the new season hints at progress.
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There are some out there who regard his ‘Gegenpressing’ philosophy as an ostentatious way of asking his players to press, but Klopp showed on Monday Night Football that there’s plenty more to it.
Take, for example, his opinion that the modern full-back is much more of a midfield player. James Milner’s successful transition to left-back suggests Klopp is one step ahead of the competition.
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The modern day full-back
“This kind of full-back now is more like a midfield player,” Klopp explained when quizzed about his system by Jamie Carragher.
“They play in half-spaces, they play really high. They are wingers sometimes, sometimes the centre midfielders. The rule is: be an option in terms of getting a pass or be protection.
“If you are an option you can be high or you can be in the half space.
“A full-back shouldn’t be many times defending one v one. If that’s the case where is the midfielder?”
Klopp eased Milner's concerns
Milner has been a utility player throughout his career but he was taken aback when Klopp asked him to play at left-back.
But it didn’t take long for the German to ease Milner’s concerns.
“Full-back is a wonderful position because you are always involved,” Klopp added. “I remember speaking to Milly about it first time and said what do you think? He said: ‘but I won’t get the ball.’
“I said: ‘forget this, you will get the ball much more often than you can imagine’.”
Klopp's full appearance
There was genuine fear among Liverpool fans on Twitter that Klopp was giving away his secrets, such was his level of insight.
He spoke about defending from the front, Roberto Firmino’s versatility and his biggest influence, Wolfgang Frank, his former manager at Mainz.
For any aspiring football managers out there, don’t spend thousands of pounds on a coaching course - just watch Klopp’s full appearance on MNF football.
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