As news comes through of the imminent beatification of Claudio Ranieri, we tried to get an interview with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp to discuss his side’s loss to the reborn Leicester City team St Claudio left behind.
Unfortunately, like the rest of Liverpool on Monday evening, Jürgen has gone missing but we did receive this podcast via email and, once we’d upgraded to the latest audio software, restarted the PC, waited for numerous Windows updates to install and said ‘no’ to all the messages from mysterious agents about free trials, we were finally able to listen to what he had to say.
His voice could have come out of a 1970’s Grundig radio, so clear were the clipped Germanic sentences masquerading as English constructions – a bit like Tommy Smith trying to deliver the BBC News to listeners outside of Merseyside.
“Of course, the trip to La Manga was a major factor in this… this ‘performance.’ 16 days is far too long between matches because, with no doubt about it at all, a three days gap is much better for us. I prefer to go back to Germany for a while to watch some Bundesliga matches and learn about how teams lose consistently to Munich. This is what we must strive for. It’s no good being up there and down there we must be in the middle somewhere – maybe like Stoke City or West Bromwich Albion? Or, if this is not good enough for Liverpool, perhaps we should be more like Burnley and stick to what we know in the North-West of England: wind, rain and the back pages covering our chips? I did not want to go to Spain. I’m not talking about Madrid or Barcelona of course but the beaches, the nightclubs. We had a bad start at the airport for sure. John Lennon had lost his glasses or something like that – I don’t know what – but the mist came down quickly and this is what happens when we don’t concentrate. We had a bad middle when Adam tried to buy all the duty-free goods from the moving trolley and pulled a muscle in his arm as he tried to lift his wallet from his pocket. His reactions were not fast enough? I don’t know. It was clear that he was struggling but we should be able to cover these things. The end was bad because Simon and Loris were playing chess quietly when Simon accidentally dropped a pawn and Loris tried to kick it back to him. The waiter is OK I think. Ja, this is what happens when we are not prepared. It was clear to me that the players were just not physical enough in training but I can’t really blame Philippe for passing out by the swimming pool. He is in the team to pass and that is all I can say about that right now. We must show a reaction. The baggage handlers and all of the other clubs in England have a job to do. OK. We understand this. We do not have a right to go through the motions as if it is customary for us to always win. We must try and need to show a reaction, not be afraid of the storm. We must hold our heads up high – even Daniel when the Nurofen gets to work. It is not about who or where but how we make our travel arrangements in the future. We need to get our rhythm back: a Mersey beat for today maybe? I don’t know. Perhaps we should pray for Claudio and remember that this is, after all, not about friendlies?”