It is often remarked on how this Liverpool team have a particular style of play and Jurgen Klopp has revealed the core factors which he always wanted to go into the making of the side.
The Reds have been close to unstoppable under Klopp over the last two or three years, moving closer and closer to being the most near-perfect side on the planet.
Last season his team became champions of Europe with a generally stylish, dominant and energetic style of play, with the famed and feared counter-pressing an obvious highlight.
That style is part of what makes Liverpool so recognisable on the pitch—and so tough to stop.
Klopp told Western Union that his idea was always to build a team which everybody knew was Liverpool, just by looking at the style.
“My dream was always that we can play in any random shirt, but if you watch us playing you say, ‘Ah, that’s Liverpool,’” he said.
“The identity is that clear that everybody would say ‘Oh, that’s Liverpool.’ That’s what we try.”
Several people, including Pepijn Lijnders, have made reference to the Reds’ intensity being part of the identity, and Klopp expands on that by highlighting “rules” with how the team approaches the game.
That isn’t just about the first XI, either, with the intention of playing the same way filtering down through the Academy and age groups.
“We have a few clear rules how we want to play, how we want to defend, where we want to defend, where we want to pass. How lively are we? How positive? How brave? Absolutely important for the boys, through all the ranks and through all the teams.”
The boss points to the incredible high of Madrid last year, but also the close-run nature of the title fight, as big moments in showing that further improvements can be made.
“We won the Champions League final – great. Let’s carry on. The more important information for me was how good we can be; if we are really concentrated, if we are really focused, and if we improve a couple of things we can get even better.
“That was our motivation, using the last season as a basis, not as a sign how close it can be and how much it can hurt [losing the title].
“Of course it hurts but the pain you have, you can decide how much it hurts and you decide what you make with that information. We decided to use the information that we are meanwhile a really good football team.
“If you are a really good football team then you have to win football games, so now it’s about us to decide how many football games we will win. We really take it game by game. It’s the most important game in our life – because it’s the only one we play.”
The Reds will now look to return to that identity and immediately recognisable style of play when Premier League action resumes.
And if they are even halfway to their best, judging by the lack of sharpness and organisation shown in some Bundesliga games, there could be a feast of goals to be had for the Reds with that lively, positive and brave approach to playing.