Jurgen Klopp has described himself as “The Normal One” as he prepares to rebuild Liverpool into a side capable of challenging for the Premier League title.
Klopp has already demanded “full-throttle football” from his side as he looks to transform their “pessimism” into a winning mentality after replacing Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hotseat.
When Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho first arrived in England in 2004, he described himself as the “Special One” but there was no such self-confidence from Klopp.
“I am a totally normal guy from the Black Forest – I am the normal one,” he said on Friday. “I was a very average player and then I became a coach at Mainz. Then the opportunity came to manage Dortmund, a very special club, and after seven years it was best to leave and now I’m here.
“I hope to enjoy my work because everyone has told me so much about the English press. It’s up to you guys to show me it’s all lies!”
Speculation has persisted that Liverpool’s use of a transfer committee to sign players was a sticking point in Klopp’s negotiations.
While the 48-year-old has denied any disagreement with the current hierarchy, he has warned he cannot be expected to produce the Midas touch in the market.
“It’s a crazy discussion. We talked about it. For me, it’s enough. I have the first and the last word. In the middle, we discuss things. We only want to talk about very good players,” he continued. “I’m not a genius. I don’t know more than the rest of the world.”
Klopp accepts that the challenge of winning the Premier League is one of the greatest he will face but he insists his priority is to develop Liverpool’s winning mentality first.
“Now I’m back in the race. I can say it’s the biggest honour I can imagine, one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he said.
“To be given this opportunity to try to help in a situation that’s not so difficult, I feel it’s a good moment to come here, I feel really proud.
“The intensity of the football, how they live football is what attracted me. It’s a special club, I had two very special clubs with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund and this role is the perfect next step for me.
“For sure the Premier League is one of the most difficult because five, six, seven teams can win, but only one can be champion.
“We have to develop. This will be a good moment to restart. It’s not important right now who the winner of the league will be, nobody knows. It’s only important that we play our own game, that the players feel the confidence and trust.
“They have to feel they can reach the expectation of the fans, the press. We have to start new together and we’ll see what happens. Nobody’s satisfied at this moment but sometimes that’s only because you don’t see the big step.
“Stop thinking about money. Right now, it’s only about football. You want to see fighting spirit.”
Klopp is aware of Liverpool’s rich tradition but is adamant it should not be a burden to their future ambition, adding: “It’s 25 years since Liverpool last won the title and many people have tried since.
“You can’t carry your history in your backpack all day long. Now we have to start, not wait. I want to see the first step next week but not always compare with other times.
“This is a great club with a really good team, good potential, everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way, this is the perfect moment to do this – everything is different. Here is a German guy for the first time.
“I don’t know everything but I am a pretty good listener. I will go to Melwood and see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s time to restart.”