Spurs boss: We’ve done our homework on Jurgen Klopp and are ready for Liverpool
Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham have done their research on Liverpool’s new manager Jurgen Klopp and will be well prepared for the German’s first Premier League game at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Klopp, who won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 with Borussia Dortmund and then reached the 2014 Champions League final, has replaced Brendan Rodgers in the Liverpool hot-seat.
All eyes will be on White Hart Lane this weekend as the charismatic 48-year-old takes charge of his team for the first time against Spurs.
And, although that makes the Reds something on an unknown quantity, Spurs’ head coach Pochettino has been doing his homework.
“I saw on the TV a lot of information about his style and we’ve watched a lot of games from Borussia Dortmund and we have a good idea, maybe, how he can play,” he said.
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“Is our old research on Liverpool now useless? No, we can use it because in the last few months Liverpool played in different ways and changed the system, from the beginning until [their last game against] Everton. How we analyse Dortmund and the way that Klopp plays, there are similar concepts we can take because we have some references.
“Maybe I give too much information but in the first half of the game Liverpool played against Arsenal, they played in a similar style that Dortmund played last season.
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“Today we have a lot of tools to research the information, but in the end the truth will come on Saturday – how they play and how he has put his ideas in place.
“It’s true that he has all the information about Tottenham but we have good information about Klopp. Today it’s easy to research information from all managers and all teams.”
Klopp has only had a few days to work with his players, many of whom have been away with their national teams, but Pochettino believes the German will still be able to effect changes ahead of Saturday’s showdown in north London.
“In our experience from Southampton, we had three days to prepare for the [first] game against Everton and you work very hard to try to settle some ideas,” he said. “It’s impossible to put all the ideas of the philosophy in their minds, in the team, but you always try to change some things.
“It’s not easy but it’s not difficult because you have to put some ideas in and start to give the players the tools to start to play in the way that you want to play.
“You have to convince the players, so they believe in your philosophy and in your ideas. This is the first thing, that’s important. Then you need to know the culture, [it’s a] different mentality, different football.
“But when you’re a manager like Klopp, who’s been to a Champions League final, then I think you have the skills to realise [it all] and to adapt your ideas to the new culture and the new football.
“I think it’s very good for the Premier League that he comes here. He impressed us with his job at Borussia Dortmund and we wish him all the best - after Saturday.
“He’s a great manager, he has clear ideas. When you see the games from Borussia Dortmund you understand that he’s a manager with a clear idea of how he wants to play. I think it’s good for you [the media] too because he was funny at Dortmund at every press conference, after the games. I think it’s good entertainment for you.”
Pochettino is aware that Klopp’s arrival is likely to inspire Liverpool’s players and give them a boost this weekend.
He said: “We need to have the same mental level because we expect Liverpool’s players will have 200 per cent commitment and will be excited to play against Tottenham.
“You always want to impress a new manager, to give your best, but it’s not a worry for me. We need to stay at the same mental level to try to equalise the energy and play our way, and we know how we need to play and we need to deliver our job. Our mentality is to try to win the game because it’s three very important points for us.”
Pochettino managed Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana at Southampton, but he is not in contact with them this week.
“No, impossible – because we play [against each other] on Saturday,” he said. “We’re very professional and they are very professional, it’s not good that we have a relationship now before the game. We have very good relationships, sometimes we exchange some messages, but not this week.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs