If Jurgen Klopp is unable to attend due to COVID-19, Liverpool assistant manager Peter Krawietz will be in charge against Shrewsbury. So who is the man nicknamed ‘The Eye’?
It won’t be until the morning of the Reds’ FA Cup third-round tie they will discover, through a lateral flow test, if Klopp can take his place in the dugout.
With Pepijn Lijnders still in isolation after testing positive for Covid, the next in line were Klopp to miss out is Krawietz – an unlikely candidate to manage a cup game for Liverpool.
These are exceptional circumstances, however, and there will be every faith in Krawietz and the players available to him that they can book a place in the fourth round.
But who is Krawietz, and what is his usual role with the Reds?
Who is Peter Krawietz?
A native of Mainz, Krawietz began his career in football in a role as video analyst for his local club, joining the German outfit in 1996.
That came after earning a degree in sports at the University of Mainz, which led him to gain a placement with the then-2. Bundesliga side, eventually securing a permanent role.
He was promoted to the role of chief scout in 2001, before heading to Dortmund seven years later to support Klopp as assistant manager, and then on to Liverpool in 2015.
The 50-year-old’s job title at Liverpool is assistant manager, but while Lijnders regularly takes training sessions and is a vocal figure on the touchline, Krawietz works more behind the scenes, focused on analysis, scouting and set-pieces.
How long has he worked with Klopp?
Effectively, his entire adult life.
When Krawietz joined Mainz, Klopp was still a player, and it was Krawietz’s job to analyse his performances at right-back, singling out areas to improve.
It was Klopp who promoted his then-colleague to chief scout upon assuming the manager’s role in 2001, and he then brought him with him to Dortmund and Liverpool.
So, all in all, over 25 years together, in one capacity or another.
Why is he nicknamed ‘The Eye’?
It is part of Klopp’s ethos as a manager that those working closest with him are equally as important as he is, and that is where Krawietz’s nickname comes from.
At first, Klopp was ‘The Heart’, Krawietz ‘The Eye’ and Zeljko Buvac ‘The Brain’, but now Lijnders has assumed the mantle of the departed Bosnian-Serb.
Krawietz is ‘The Eye’ due to his expertise in visual analysis; he gives Klopp the vision, Lijnders the knowledge.
Has he ever managed before?
No. Despite his long association with Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool, Krawietz has never managed a game of professional football, nor has he ever played professionally.
Buvac stood in for Klopp while he was sidelined after appendix removal in 2016, while Lijnders and Neil Critchley have also step up in the past.
Krawietz is, however, believed to hold a UEFA Pro Licence for coaching, and as a teenager he coached at under-8s level.
What has he said?
Speaking to the club’s official website in 2020, Krawietz detailed the duties he fills on a daily basis:
“I’m analysing, thinking about football.
“Pep is preparing training sessions and I’m the part who is thinking about our game constantly.
“So preparing the next game is the main part. We have a look at the next opponent we face – what we can expect, what we will have to do, where are our solutions.
“Preparing this, preparing the team and leading up to a video meeting, where we want to be precise and want to show our players exactly what will be our solutions for the next game. This is the main part.
“This keeps you busy, I can tell you!”
Krawietz will take Liverpool’s pre-match press conference at 1pm on Saturday, ahead of the Shrewsbury clash.