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Trent’s leadership & Virgil ‘looked s**t’ – 5 things from Klopp’s press conference


Jurgen Klopp was in good spirits as he reflected on a “special” win away to Arsenal in the FA Cup, and he gave us some nuggets of gold afterwards!

Here are the five key points from the manager as he reflected on the victory…

Second half improvements

Liverpool looked markedly better after the interval, with Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott effectively switching positions as the side began to limit Arsenal‘s threat.

“Everything was better in the second half,” admitted the boss when asked about what led to the upturn in performance in the second period.

“We changed obviously as well quite a bit, and that caused Arsenal problems.

“As little influence as I had in the first half on what they did, I would say as little as the influence for Mikel in the moment like that.”

Missing more than just Mo

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 1, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC on New Year's Day at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The boss was quick to respond to a question about the lack of Mohamed Salah in his team, listing the rest of his nine absentees and describing them as a “really good football team we missed.”

Salah is unquestionably a miss for Liverpool, but Klopp insisted that his side coped admirably without all of the players they are currently without.

He added: “Growing into a game like that is a really special thing to do, and so I am really happy with that.”

A word on Henderson

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, October 13, 2023: England's captain Jordan Henderson leads his side out before an International Friendly match between England and Australia at Wembley Stadium. England won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp dismissed Jordan Henderson‘s recent links with Liverpool as “not existing” when asked about reports that the midfielder is unsettled in Saudi Arabia.

“He didn’t call me,” the boss joked regarding his former captain’s future.

“We spoke actually, but not about that. So no, really nothing to say about that.”

Virgil’s absence explained

Eyebrows were raised when the skipper was kept out of the matchday squad at the Emirates, but the boss elicited plenty of laughs with his explanation.

Klopp said: “It’s difficult for Virgil to look s**t, but he did so we sent him home.”

That clears that up, then!

Trent’s growth as a leader

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The boss reserved special praise for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who took the free-kick that led to the opening own goal.

“1-0 up, he spoke to everyone without me shouting at him and telling him to make sure we are compact and stuff like this,” were Klopp’s words as he beamed when talking about his vice-captain.

“My god, what a player! Good game.”

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