Jurgen Klopp wants his Liverpool stars to be ready to strike when — and if — the Premier League season gets back underway once it is safe to do so in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The Covid-19 crisis has led to the suspension of football throughout the world and has left the Reds waiting to see if they can resume the season at some point — and claim their first top-flight title for 30 years.
The Anfield table-toppers were an astonishing 25 points ahead of Manchester City, in second place, when matches were put on hold and it is now a case of playing a waiting game until the government guidelines allow the football authorities to decide how the campaign will come to a satisfactory conclusion.
Reds head coach Klopp knows he can have no influence over the decision but is acutely aware that he needs his aces in tip-top shape once they are called back in to action with the goal to claim the prize they truly deserve after such a scintillating season on Merseyside. And to ensure players such as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson are prepared properly he has enlisted the help of the club’s head of fitness and conditioning in the shape of Andreas Kornmayer.
He has the Liverpool squad members following training programmes at home as well as going through their paces in small groups remotely to try to maintain fitness. And Kornmayer has been speaking to the club’s official website to lift the lid on the progress that the players are making under these very unusual set of circumstances. His task initially was to find now new ways of interacting with the players — and he has revealed that using WhatsApp has been invaluable in helping to achieve this.
“That’s the most common thing we are using, to keep in contact with our players. We have created bigger groups and little groups so everyone is involved and then we get all the information from the players. We have group sessions and individual plans which, for example, can be about running, or pre-training or strength.”
Another tool helping the players stay in trim is video calls. He adds:
“Everybody from my team has a certain number of players which they are responsible for and then our team have several meetings during the week where we update each other, and we are in contact with emails, texts, video calls and normal phone calls every day anyway about everything that is happening and what we can adjust and our planning.”
The whole situation in this country at the moment is changing so much, says Kornmayer, that the approach needs to be adaptable (to be able to adapt to the latest science results for example). He concludes:
“It’s quite a big demand.”
But if Klopp’s men can lift the title, ultimately one worth striving for…