Watch Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match press conference – Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp addressed the media in his press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match with Aston Villa and said it was important to improve this term, even as reigning champions.

The Reds swatted aside all challengers in the first two-thirds of last season, before the fragmented nature of the restart and the fact they were crowned league winners naturally led to a drop-off.

In 2020/21, however, it has been a case of full-steam-ahead once more for the Reds, who have three wins from three at the start of the Premier League campaign as they look to win it in back-to-back years.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the trip to Villa Park, Klopp was asked about Aston Villa‘s new signings and how the Reds also needed to progress, and the boss made the case that even standing still can only happen when a club improves, such is the nature of competition at the elite level.

“If we want to attack the title, we have to improve because the others will improve,” he said.

The Reds picked up a dramatic win at Villa Park last year, with Dean Smith’s team going on to avoid relegation on the last day of the season, but they have since signed the likes of Oli Watkins, Emi Martinez and Bert Traore.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“All teams got stronger with the signings they made and Villa are one of these. Other teams improved massively, so we have to improve so we can be in a similar position.

“It’s not to do with last year’s position, it’s just other teams will improve so you have to make big steps.”

The boss also made reference to changes being implemented with regards to the much-discussed handball law, which saw several farcical penalties given last weekend.

Klopp says there’s still room for improvement, and reiterated that the offside calls also need attention given the reliance on VAR is leading to wrong corners being awarded instead of the flag going up early, and so on.

“What we all wanted with VAR is clarity, having the right decision. It’s important we keep the rules as simple as possible. We can see the situation five or six times [with replays] and we still end up with a discussion, that makes no sense.

“The offside rule is not a ‘rule’, but [rather] how we interpret it, that’s not too cool. We wait too long in too many situations to raise the flag.

“There’s still space for improvement, 100 per cent.”