Episode #53 of the TGG Podcast, in association with Hudl, is with Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders.
The Dutchman sat down with Simon Austin at the AXA Training Centre for an exclusive interview. In Part 1, he reflected on pre-season, looked ahead to the 2023/24 campaign and gave insights into his coaching methods.
This has been an interview we've wanted to do for a long time, so we hope you enjoy it!
02:03: Pre-season preparations and reflections. Camp in Germany.
05:37: Training exercises with different colour bibs.
10:10: Counter pressing and why it’s so important for Liverpool. Makes the difference between winning and losing. "As Jurgen says, counter pressing isn't a proposal, it's a law. That's what makes us us."
12:41: Background to Trent Alexander-Arnold moving inside to midfield last season. “The big big change last year was the moment when we found balance, when we put Trent to the inside and Cody (Gakpo) went to the 9, to become the extra player. The team became compact again, together again.”
16:08: Roberto Firmino “was the one who connected everything, who made us us, who was like the soul of the team. He was the one who made even not a good build-up a good one. That’s how Sadio and Mo could be Sadio and Mo.”
19:13: “The difference between a good and top team is the quality of your top three, your piano players.”
20:30: Did team lack intensity last season?
22:53: New season without James Milner and Jordan Henderson. By the boot room there is a clock that Milner used to police. Now Linjnders has put up a sign: “Standards are made by the ones who need to live them.”
27:12: Use of rondos. Competition and street football. Identity game. “You need to earn the right to attack more, by defending top. That principle is present in each exercise. The 30% we don’t have the ball, that’s where we should be different from all other teams in the league.”
30:32: Building street pitch at the training ground to train offensive aggression. ‘Melwood Arena.’ “You need to create exercises where they feel that the better you attack the less you have to defend and when you defend really well you can attack much more.”
35:17: Creating a set piece pitch.
37:03: Football is about honour. You want to be the best you can be. How identity game builds on this. “I try to play with the honour of the players a lot… they train with a knife between their teeth.”
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