'Unbelievably hard' to win Premier League title, says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Klopp has warned against raising expectations too high for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions that Liverpool are title challengers after a busy transfer window and a 4-0 win over West Ham in their Premier League opener.

“This season will again be unbelievably hard,” the German said.

“West Ham will play a good season but they are not United or City. They know that, we know that, and we have to be ready.

See the Liverpool manager’s reaction to his side’s win in our video below.

Most popular

Related Sections

Jurgen Klopp delighted but warns the task will only get tougher for Liverpool

Andy Hampson 12/08/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Jurgen Klopp striker Sadio Mané after a fine display against West Ham.

Jurgen Klopp was pleased with Liverpool‘s convincing start to the season, but warned there will be much tougher tests ahead.

The Reds underlined their Premier League title credentials with a comprehensive 4-0 defeat of West Ham in their first game at Anfield.

Klopp’s side have been tipped by many as the side most likely to challenge Manchester City for the crown, but the Liverpool manager is not getting carried away with one result.

The German said: “We know about our expectations and we realise there is a really positive atmosphere around us in the pre-season. That is good that people are positive, but this season will be unbelievably hard.

“We cannot be anything different than the challenger because we haven’t won anything since I came in. We have to invest more, we have to fight more, we have to create more. That’s the only thing we expect from ourselves. We will see where it leads to.

“West Ham will play, for sure, a good season but they are not the Uniteds, the Citys. We know that and we have to be ready week-in, week-out for all the challenges.”

Liverpool eased to victory with Sadio Mane scoring twice between efforts from Mohamed Salah and substitute Daniel Sturridge.

West Ham offered little as the hosts dominated, but Klopp was reluctant to describe the performance as perfect.

He said: “It’s a very good start, for sure. It is a start – not perfect but really good. Nobody knows exactly how valuable or worthy a pre-season is. You see things in pre-season, but it’s different. The Premier League is a proper fight and you hope, as a manager, your team is ready. You cannot test before you have the test.  For that it was a clear start, it was good.”

New West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini admitted his team were outplayed, although he pointed out, with some justification, that Mane’s second goal could have been ruled out for offside.

The former Manchester City manager said: “It was a tough game before the game, during the game and after the game.

“We knew we played against one of the best teams in the Premier League. They reached the final of the Champions League and bought a lot of new players. We knew it was going to be difficult.

“I think Liverpool played better than us. They deserved to win. When you lose 4-0 you cannot have excuses. But I think a couple of balls decided the score. In the first half we had two or three clear chances to make it 1-1 and we conceded the second goal in the last second of the period.

“The after that a clear offside goal decided the game and they had a lot of confidence to play at 4-0. I am not complaining. Liverpool played well, but I don’t think the difference was four goals.”

Most popular

How Naby Keita showed what all the fuss was about in Liverpool's West Ham blitz

Chris Bailey 12/08/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Naby Keita’s Premier League debut may have been 12 months in the making, but against West Ham he performed as if he’d been under the auspices of Jurgen Klopp for his entire career.

Keita and Co romped to a 4-0 win against West Ham on the opening weekend, with Mohamed Salah – who else – opening the scoring before butter-smooth Sadio Mane grabbed a brace and substitute Daniel Sturridge added late polish.

But below we focus on Keita’s performance, who pulled on a red shirt in a competitive outing for the first time since his signing from RB Leipzig was announced back in August 2017.

KEY STATS

Tackles –1

Interceptions –1

Passes – 68

Passing accuracy –88.2%

Key passes –1

Dribbles –2

30-SECOND REPORT

The Guinean, in a midfield three alongside Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner, was noticeably by far the furthest forward – to such extent that he could be described as the Reds’ fourth attacker.

West Ham’s middle men allowed him far too much space to run at the defence and play in Andrew Robertson, who promptly supplied Salah for the opener.

Once Roberto Firmino came off for Jordan Henderson in the 70th minute, Liverpool switched to a 4-4-2 diamond and Keita drifted out to the left, where he looked comfortable against the hapless Hammers.   

GOT RIGHT

Keita has often been described as a box-to-box midfielder and while it is one adequate description of his talents, it is only a part of the puzzle.

Indeed ‘box-to-box’ suggests energy, crunching tackles and bombing forward without hinting at the subtler parts of his game. The 23-year-old is so much more – as evidenced by his passing.

He played in some deliciously weighted balls to Liverpool’s trident and while his pass for Robertson for the opener was hardly an eye of the needle scenario, the tempo in attack never missed a beat when he was on the ball.

While his dribbling and tackling ability were both on show, his subtle link-up play – already meshing well with Salah and friends – should be particularly pleasing to Reds fans.

GOT WRONG

It’s hard to put a blot against Keita’s name, but once or twice the fast and furious press that Klopp likes to deploy saw him concede position in midfield.

It’ll probably just be an adjustment period – but the objective in the press is to either force the opposition back or get them to play a risky pass. Keita overran a couple of times, giving the man in possession the easy task of evading him.

VERDICT

It’s important not to go overboard on this performance. West Ham’s midfield, as it stands, is one of the weakest in the league with Mark Noble and youngster Declan Rice completely swamped on the day.

Indeed Keita won’t be given so much time and space frequently in the Premier League – but there’s nothing to suggest that he won’t create it for himself.

He arrived at a well-drilled team that required just a few artful finishing touches, and Keita’s qualities mean he could prove the masterstroke.

RATING – 8/10

Most popular