Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has spoken about his time at Anfield in a recent interview with The Athletic.
Now playing for Borussia Dortmund, Can joined Liverpool in 2014 and played a season under Brendan Rodgers before Jurgen Klopp joined in October 2015.
Can discussed the intensity of Klopp’s training sessions at Liverpool. Klopp introduced his gegenpressing, hard-running style to his players and some found it a severe shock to the system.
The players unable to adapt to Klopp’s methods were slowly phased out of the club. Can found success under Klopp played under the German for four years until his departure from 2019.
“When I think back to my time in England, I always tell everyone how much running we did. We were up and down, all day”, said the 29-year-old.
“At the beginning, the quality wasn’t super high, but in the last two seasons we had a superb team that also understood the importance of hard graft.”
“You had no choice under Kloppo. He was very challenging. If you didn’t get to the second ball, for example, he would scream and the next time, you really made sure that you got there, double-quick. If you didn’t run all day, you found yourself on the bench or in the stands in no time.”
“I learned that you can’t do anything without hard work. When the whole team do it, it’s easier, it’s a beautiful thing. That’s what we need to do here. Everyone needs to run, everyone needs to understand that there’s no other way.”
The Dortmund player recalls his overhead kick in 2017, the victory was vital for Liverpool that season as they reached the Champions League.
“People still come up to me and talk about the Watford goal. That’s one of my favourite moments.”
As Klopp sets out to rebuild his midfield this summer, Liverpool supporters will hope Klopp can intensify his methods even further and reintroduce the physicality into his team that seems to have been lacking this season.