The secret behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool half-time team talks to give the Reds the winning edge

JOHN CROSS COLUMN: Half-time team talks used to be about a pat on the back or a teacup toss, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff are forensic with what they show the players

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is aiming to win four unprecedented trophies for the Reds this season
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is aiming to win four unprecedented trophies for the Reds this season

Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp can often be seen sprinting down the tunnel to the dressing rooms at Anfield just before the half-time whistle blows.

The 54-year-old German has now shared a rare glimpse into the development of his half-time team talks, which show just how far football has come for those running top teams in the Premier League and elsewhere.

During the Merseyside derby, Liverpool coaching staff showed the players a video clip at the break and Klopp says they “stopped it eight times” to show how they could do things differently in the second half against Frank Lampard’s Everton.

After the 0-0 draw at half-time, they kept batting everton 2-0 And did the same against Villarreal. Time is limited, managers have to relay messages to players and specialized software like Hudl Sportscode is used across the country. brentford, wolves and Leeds use state-of-the-art STATSports technology in matches, the vast majority of top clubs use them for training while others use their Sonra Live iPad software during matches.

The notion of managers just using a ‘kick up the butt’ at half-time is long gone, but being able to break down movements in such detail is a real eye-opener and why clubs like Liverpool are so successful. Barry Watters, head of sports science at STATSports, said: “He would be referring to managers here referencing a manager showing a video of, say, a left-back being caught with a winger in certain games and more with talk to the player about positioning.”

Chaos in the Champions League final

Fans face another potential all-English release with a huge price hike and travel chaos Champions League Final in Paris on May 28th. Some reputable sports travel agencies charge over £6,000 for packages that include match tickets, travel and hotels. But that doesn’t tell the other tale of hotels either fully booked or exorbitantly charging, Eurostar tickets selling out and a scramble for tickets to the showpiece finale.

UEFA can proudly boast that 52,000 of the State de France’s 75,000 seats for the final will go to the fans, with 20,000 tickets available to both finalists and a further 12,000 to general sale. According to UEFA, a further 10,000 will be “reserved for the fans of the two teams and offered free of charge to reward the lifeblood of the game for their loyal support during the pandemic”. Bookmakers give Liverpool chances to reach final Manchester City are also favorites to say goodbye real Madrid in the second all-English final in four years after beating Liverpool Tottenham in Madrid in 2019. UEFA, which moved the final from St. Petersburg to Paris to punish Russia after the invasion of Ukrainesay it is up to the organizers to ensure sufficient travel and accommodation.

Meanwhile, UEFA is hosting its next congress in Vienna on May 11, but an agreement on the new Champions League format is unlikely to be reached by then. That First League are one of the main groups against the award of two places for historical achievements. That’s going to be a big sticking point as broadcasters will be paying billions and counting on that sort of thing Manchester United and the rest be involved.

This season’s Champions League final has been moved from St. Petersburg to the Stade de France in Paris


That FA Cup, the best domestic final in world football, has a new kick-off time of 16:45 this season. To keep in mind BBC and itv will share the live rights, it could capture an incredible free-to-air TV audience. The FA stresses that the kick-off time will be set in cooperation with the clubs, local authorities, the police and the broadcaster. But every broadcaster’s dream is to get a show that takes viewers into prime time… that could explain the 4:45 kick-off, as if it went into overtime and penalties, ending around 7:30 p.m would. Anything later may not be good for TV ratings.

This column revealed a few weeks ago that no TV deal has yet to be finalized for England’s forthcoming Nations League campaign. Sky did not push the rights and channel 4 are excited now. But there is some backlash as UEFA is conducting the negotiations on behalf of the national associations and the figures discussed are lower than expected. There has to be a balance between England on terrestrial television and an attractive financial package.

Meanwhile, the Premier League’s in-house television company, Premier League Productions, briefed staff on possible program changes and staff cuts last Friday. The channel is run by IMG, which has 200 full-time staff working on PLP, a large contingent of freelancers – including many BBC, ITV and Sky presenters and pundits – but next season is expected to see more digital output and fewer studio shows among produced of the week. The edition is rarely seen in the UK but is broadcast worldwide to support the live coverage internationally, and an IMG spokesman said: “There have been some small changes to the staffing structure to suit operational needs.”

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