Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp seemed to have a contact of worry in his eyes again in December when his males had been drawn in opposition to RB Leipzig.
The Champions League spherical of 16 conflict, which you’ll hear stay on talkSPORT, promised to be a check of the Reds’ mettle and circumstances counsel it’s solely received tougher within the intervening days.
Klopp’s Merseysiders are struggling massive time and the 3-1 loss to Leicester noticed the Reds’ Premier League title defence hit a brand new low.
They’ve simply two wins of their final 10 Premier League video games, a state of affairs unthinkable 12 months in the past and even with their terrible harm eventualities is a large drop off.
And now Liverpool should face Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, a person clearly liked by Klopp, whereas the sensation is mutual between the 2, who as soon as shared an agent.
Three years in the past after they final met, Nagelsmann was coach of Hoffenheim, making an attempt to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
“I’m actually joyful for my pal and agent [Marc Kosicke] as a result of I’m the outdated horse within the secure and there’s a younger horse already!” Klopp stated in a press convention in August 2017.
“He’s a giant, massive teaching expertise. We don’t know one another very properly however I’ve adopted his means as a result of I like good soccer.
“He’s not the one one however he’s a superb instance of a variety of actually good younger managers in Germany.”
Seems Klopp knew what he was speaking about and Nagelsmann’s rise now sees him coveted by main golf equipment with Tottenham most lately linked along with his companies.
An article within the The Athletic claims he has admirers in north London. The fact is that he’s prone to have them in each main boardroom throughout Europe.
He’s additionally been courted by Actual Madrid and beforehand nicknamed ‘Mini-Mourinho’ by former Germany worldwide Tim Wiese.
Changing into the Bundesliga’s youngest ever coach at 28 years outdated is sort of the feat however Nagelsmann by no means as soon as rested on his laurels. He’s a perfectionist.
After the ultimate whistle of Hoffenheim’s 6-Three mixture defeat to Liverpool again in 2017, Klopp couldn’t discover his compatriot.
Wishing to supply him a fond farewell, he was nowhere to be seen.
Klopp, in dialogue with Nagelsmann recalled what occurred subsequent: “What I can bear in mind is that after the sport, after the second leg, I went to search for Julian as a result of I needed to say goodbye or one thing…
“I can keep in mind that too,” his opponent chimed in.
“And I opened the door to a bit room, the place I didn’t even know that there was something behind it,” Klopp continued. “And he was sitting there along with his assistants at a laptop computer. You may see it in his face, that he was pondering: ‘Properly what occurred right here?’”
“Yeah, that’s precisely what occurred,” Nagelsmann admitted. “And also you closed my laptop computer and stated to cease it: it’s over in any case. Let’s quite go have a beer. I took a couple of minutes to cope with that.”
Klopp added: “You may’t win after the sport is over. That’s my expertise.”
The recommendation was heeded and in 2019 he omitted to RB Leipzig and has damaged extra information since.
In opposition to Mourinho’s Tottenham final March he turned the youngest coach to win a Champions League knockout tie, aged 32, however he and his prices ultimately misplaced on the semi-final stage to former mentor Thomas Tuchel and his Paris Saint-German facet.
The now-Chelsea boss is somebody Nagelsmann appears to be like as much as however so is Klopp.
“He leads with nice emotion,” Nagelsmann instructed Champions Journal final 12 months. “He manages repeatedly to encourage the gamers emotionally in order that all of them push themselves to their limits. The human facet of Jurgen may be very spectacular if you see how the gamers carry out for him on the pitch and the way they run for him.”
For now, although, Klopp is specializing in beating the younger upstart and has admitted he faces a contact problem in opposition to his compatriot.
He instructed Liverpool’s official web site : “We performed in opposition to Julian Nagelsmann, the coach, when he was at Hoffenheim, which was a troublesome one.
“Now he has a greater workforce, a very thrilling workforce. Misplaced Timo Werner, nonetheless within the high three of the Bundesliga, that claims actually the whole lot about them.
“He’s positively somebody I’ve a variety of respect for.
“As compared, Thomas [Tuchel] is, I don’t know the age, however Hansi [Flick] I believe is a bit bit older than me. [Nagelsmann] can be in world soccer for the following 20 or 30 years. He’s now in his early 30s, that claims the whole lot.
“He coached a Bundesliga workforce in Germany when he was 28, which is a very distinctive story.
“I like what he’s doing, I actually like what he’s doing. I’ve a variety of respect for his work. Being at that age, now he’s within the age I used to be after I began teaching however he’s doing it already for 5 – 6 years, which is actually distinctive. Nonetheless younger.
“I’m afraid to say however in all probability will nonetheless get higher and higher over time, like all of us received, however is already actually highest high quality. It will likely be a troublesome one.”
It actually can be powerful, and may very well be an enormous sliding doorways second for each managers at a pivotal level of their careers.
You may hear RB Leipzig vs Liverpool on Tuesday night time at 8pm stay on talkSPORT