Paul Merson probably would’ve love to play under Jürgen Klopp.
The former Arsenal midfielder was a bit wacky, up for a laugh and had boundless energy (though we probably shouldn’t talk about where he got that from).
Klopp’s show-stopping first press conference will be followed by high octane football, or so the German promises, and Merson isn’t so sure it can work with Liverpool’s squad.
“I like Klopp but he’s a big gamble,” Merson said in his Daily Star column. “He plays a certain way, with a high press at 100 miles an hour. Do Liverpool have the players to do that? I’m not sure.”
Well, it isn’t actually a high press but that’s not important. The point is a valid one. Klopp himself has admitted Liverpool don’t exactly have the wide players he would like right now, and it’s questionable that Daniel Sturridge’s muscles can take a high energy system again.
Merson’s point certainly isn’t invalid: can Klopp implement a successful version of his system with these players?
“We’ve seen it with Mauricio Pochettio. He had the players to do that with Southampton but he went to Tottenham and it took him time. He didn’t have the players he needed to play that way.
“The problem is I don’t know how much time Klopp is going to get at Liverpool, he’s got to get them in the top four this season.”
Again, this is a bit of an odd claim. Nobody has said he has to finish in the top four and, after Rodgers finished 7th last year and Klopp didn’t have pre-season, it would be a huge shock if that was the case.
There’s a hell of a lot of noise around the appointment of the German and everyone loves to make big claims but, I’m afraid, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens at Anfield over the next few years.