Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Klopp praises Guardiola for choosing City challenge

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Dec 2016

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praised Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola for taking on the challenge of managing in the Premier League.

After successful spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola opted to join City ahead of the 2016-17 season.

A mixed start to the campaign sees his team sitting third in the table, a point behind Saturday’s opponents Liverpool.

Klopp hailed Guardiola for choosing a challenge like City despite having other, and easier, offers.

“He came here with open eyes. He could have had easier jobs in easier leagues, that is for sure,” the German told UK newspapers ahead of the clash at Anfield.

“He could have gone anywhere but he wanted to come here. He was probably 100 per cent aware of the big challenge.

“He knew he had a wonderful squad at Barcelona and a wonderful squad at Bayern but he had big influence on the way they played football.

“If you go to Barcelona as a new manager they will tell you: ‘By the way, don’t forget, we play like Pep Guardiola played.’ That’s the biggest influence you can have. Bayern loved the years he was there. He is a fantastic manager.”

Klopp and Guardiola went head-to-head numerous times in Germany, where the former led Borussia Dortmund to two league titles.

The 49-year-old recalls Guardiola’s Bayern, who won three straight league titles from 2013-16, adjusting their tactics when facing his team.

“They changed their style of play against us a few times, not always, but a few times,” Klopp said.

“A clear philosophy does not mean that you stick to it in each moment. If you have to adapt to your opponent then that is what we all do.

“The style of the game isn’t everything, it is kind of important but in the end you only want to get your players looking forward with the ball. How you do it is not important.”

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