Jurgen Klopp's backroom pair having a big influence on results

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Football News

Suffice to say, Jurgen Klopp has hit the ground running at Liverpool. With many new managers being introduced to the Premier League every season, we are used to expecting them not to make an instant impact.

Yet Klopp has captivated the league, making Koppites dream and rival fans green with envy. Even his first game in charge against Tottenham demonstrated how quickly he could imprint aspects of his style on a previously disillusioned Liverpool squad.

He delivers wonderful quotes to the media at practically every press conference. In essence, it is very difficult to dislike Klopp and his playing style unless your team are on the receiving end of Liverpool's ruthless winning streak, as Southampton fans witnessed last night when their team were trounced 6-1.


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However, Liverpool's success is not purely based upon the actions of the eccentric German. Klopp employs two exceptionally diligent backroom staff in Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz, who have both worked with him during his days at Borussia Dortmund.

If Klopp is the figurehead, then Buvac and Krawietz are the men working behind the scenes to ensure Liverpool maintain their aggressive style.

Consider Liverpool's win at Southampton: as Klopp stood ever-present on the touchline, shouting orders at his players, Buvac and Krawietz barely left the dugout, quietly communicating and taking notes.

Indeed, the three are united under a mutual appreciation of attacking football and each has a role to play in Liverpool's recent form. This is in no way intended to downplay the massively influential role of Klopp at Anfield. Rather, it is to emphasise the set-up he is building there.

Klopp and Buvac have known each other for over twenty years and it was the formerly mentioned who wanted Buvac as his assistant at Mainz and Dortmund.

He additionally was responsible for promoting Krawietz to chief scout at Mainz and also bringing him to Dortmund.

Both of these underestimated men have a large role to play in the club's current success. As Krawietz works as a video analyst, it is him who is largely to thank for the way Liverpool can exploit opponents, accounting for their weaknesses and tactical slip-ups.

This has been unleashed to devastating form against Chelsea, Southampton and Manchester City in recent weeks. Could any Liverpool fan have imagined such clever exploitation under Brendan Rodgers?

For example, at Manchester City, Liverpool played through the middle in a narrow formation, taking advantage of City's tendency to push wide and isolating Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis, which would definitely have been spotted by Krawietz.

Buvac, on the other hand, is co-responsible with Klopp for implementing the famous gegenpressing style that has become a mainstay of Liverpool's approach over the past two months.

He was known as "The Brain" during his time in Germany and has a talent for spotting tactical mistakes.

“In all the exercises he always has the whole picture....if the training does not fit anything and we are making, for example, tactical mistakes, then it is usually [Buvac] that interrupts and explains how to run it properly", said Krawietz of his colleague. Buvac's diligence evidently supplements Klopp's man-management skills.

With Liverpool facing Newcastle on Sunday, many will be expecting a result similar to the tactical destructions the Reds have inflicted upon opponents over the autumn.

Having Buvac and Krawietz beside Klopp, it is certain that Liverpool will go into the game fully aware of Newcastle's many flaws and with a conclusive plan on how to take advantage of them.

Steven Gerrard
Premier League

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