Jurgen Klopp was made Liverpool manager a year ago today… they have made the most sprints and ran the furthest this season (and here's why it is bad news for Manchester United)
- Jurgen Klopp was appointed as Liverpool manager on October 8, 2015
- Liverpool have ran furthest (814.8km), made most sprints (4,165) this term
- Manchester United couldn't handle Manchester City's pressing last month
- Jose Mourinho's United lost 2-1 as City ran all over them at Old Trafford
- Liverpool will try to do the same but their defence needs to improve
It is a year to the day since Jurgen Klopp sat in front of a signed contract, and showed off that infamous smile for the first time as their new manager.
That was the pose and photograph used as Klopp was appointed on October 8 and it was from that day the German started to put his Gegenpressing plan into action.
Liverpool's players were put through triple training sessions in pre-season – with 7am starts – and have endured intense times at Melwood since, but it's paying off under the 49-year-old.
Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager 12 months ago - and he has got his squad fit
Manchester United may be left down on their haunches if Liverpool bring their pressing game
Hull were the latest team to feel the strain of Liverpool's high pressing style of play this term
His Arrigo Sacchi style of pressing has seen Liverpool run the furthest in the Premier League this season (814.8km) and make the most sprints too (4,165).
Klopp's contract is worth £5million per year, rising to £7m with bonuses for a Premier League title or Champions League qualification.
To Liverpool's manager, neither target is unrealistic.
His training techniques are notorious. Daniel Sturridge said sessions are 'intense' and James Milner described them as 'different to anything' he has ever endured.
Sadio Mane has started impressively at Liverpool and has bought straight into Klopp's style
Klopp has not accepted his players lying down with gruelling triple training sessions
Swansea were the latest side to ultimately buckle under the pressure of Liverpool's fitness
SEASON DISTANCES (KM)
Liverpool – 814.8km
Man City – 803.9km
Tottenham – 803.4km
Burnley – 793.9km
Middlesbrough – 789.3km
West Brom – 784.2km
Arsenal – 780.9km
Swansea – 772.6km
Bournemouth – 769.4km
Chelsea – 765.9km
Southampton – 759.8km
Leicester – 758.8km
West Ham – 756.0km
Watford – 751.2km
Hull – 750.5km
Stoke – 746.1km
Sunderland – 744.6km
Everton – 743.1km
Crystal Palace – 741.9km
Man Utd – 735.6km
There is an idea that if training is twice as brutal as the game itself, then Saturday will seem a breeze, and Klopp has now had a year to try to put perfectly-drilled pressing in place.
The learning isn't exclusive to Melwood, either. Klopp and his assistants, Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz, use a computer in the changing room, with a projector and screen, to get points across.
And it's working so far this season, give or take a blip against Burnley.
Liverpool have beaten Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea through out-running their opponents
Reds assistant Zeljko Buvac (centre) plays a crucial role in preparing the players on match day
Champions Leicester were overwhelmed at their own game by Liverpool in the 4-1 defeat
On September 10, Liverpool ran 118.8km against Leicester City – the fourth furthest by any side this season – and won 4-1.
It saw the 5,000/1 champions whose Premier League title win was built on energy and enthusiasm beaten at their own game.
When the international break is over, Liverpool will go up against Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho's team could not cope when Manchester City pressed them at Old Trafford. It was intense and saw Pep Guardiola plant his flag in the Premier League.
United had no answer to rivals City in September and Liverpool can use similar tactics
Pep Guardiola's side ran 119.6km in the Manchester derby - the second furthest this season
Liverpool – 4165
Man City – 4014
Tottenham – 3755
Arsenal – 3725
Swansea – 3647
Chelsea – 3641
Burnley – 3611
Man Utd – 3524
Stoke – 3446
Bournemouth – 3439
Leicester – 3434
Middlesbrough – 3428
Crystal Palace – 3395
Sunderland – 3391
Southampton – 3390
Everton – 3338
Watford – 3262
West Ham – 3174
West Brom – 3159
Hull – 3149
City ran 119.6km against United – the second furthest by any side this season – and won 2-1. That was also on September 10, the same day Liverpool stunned Leicester.
Now, United are to be tested again, and Liverpool will hope they can do the same as City by winning aggressively against Mourinho's men.
Liverpool's defence does, however, leave a lot to be desired. They are among the few in double figures for goals conceded this season.
A Premier League table since Klopp took over sees Liverpool sitting fifth but shows they have let in 50 goals. City in fourth have conceded 41, United in sixth have conceded 35.
Jose Mourinho could not handle City's pressing game and he knows Liverpool will do the same
Liverpool's defence needs to improve after conceding 50 Premier League goals since last year
Crystal Palace – sitting bottom – have conceded just two more than Liverpool since this time last year. Improvement is needed.
Yet there is the silver lining in that Liverpool's attack is as good as it gets.
That same Premier League table for the past year says they have scored the most (73). The same goes for this season, too, as no-one has got more goals than Liverpool (18).
A year after his arrival, Klopp's frighteningly-fast style of play is taking shape at Liverpool, and it's beginning to pay off.
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