SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rival player “intimidated” by Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match practice – “he just stares at you”

Jurgen Klopp is well known for watching the opposition warm-up as he stands on the halfway line before matches, and it comes across intimidating, even if it isn’t his intention.

Instead of watching his own side prepare for the upcoming fixture, Klopp is a big fan of turning his gaze towards what the other team are doing pre-match, often without too much expression.

Recently, the manager explained to former Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster that he doesn’t do it to get in the heads of the opposition, he just wants “to see and understand what they are doing.”

That could involve a player who may not look 100 percent fit or to see if anything tactical or technical stands out, intimidation is not usually his end goal.

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However, it doesn’t feel that way for those on the receiving end, as Foster explained to him during the Prime Video interview, and now Everton‘s James Tarkowski has said the same.

In an interview with The Ben Foster Podcast, the Everton defender discussed Klopp’s warm-up ritual and explained how much it can get in a player’s head.

He said: “Always [aware of him staring], I always warm-up right near the halfway line, I like to be that end of the warm-up and I can always see him gleaming at me from the side.

“I’m thinking, ‘better make sure this pass is right’ or he is going to walk into the dressing room and say, ‘that Tarkowski is having one in the warm up, go play on him’.

“I’m making sure every pass is crisp and not giving it away, if I give it away I’m thinking, ‘he’s going to go tell them lads I’m having one in the warm-up’.”

As for the intimidation factor, Foster shared with Tarkowski what Klopp told him during their recent chat about his intentions for why he does it, but the intent gets mixed in translation by how the manager acts.

The Everton defender added: “It definitely does [intimidate], or it feels like he’s attempting to do it even if he’s not, he stands there with a very stern look on his face.

“He just stares, not even a nod of hello, just stares at you.”

An unintentional bonus for Klopp then!