Jrgen Klopp Ordered Anfield Pitch Change as Part of Plan to Improve Liverpool

Liverpool's goalkeeping coach has revealed that manager Jürgen Klopp encouraged the club's owners to improve the pitch at Anfield in an attempt to help the Reds compete for domestic glory.

Towards the end of the 2016/17 campaign, the Reds were battling to finish third in the Premier League, but a dull 0-0 draw with Southampton in May saw them remain in fourth.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-SOUTHAMPTON

 

 

After the game, ​The Athletic note that Klopp said: “I know nobody wants to hear it but I am brave enough to say it. The pitch was really dry. We gave it all the water we had but after 15 minutes it was really dry again with the wind. You could see it...a lot of passes you thought ‘why are they playing this?’ But it was difficult."

 

His fear was that their ageing playing surface was holding them back, and the club owners,  Fenway Sports Group, ultimately agreed. They sanctioned a multi-million pound investment in the facilities, including addressing the pitch, to give Klopp's side the best chance of living up to their potential.

 

Fast-forward to February 2020, and ​Liverpool stormed to a 4-0 win over ​Southampton at Anfield, and it was abundantly clear that the stadium helps make the Reds even better than they already are.

“A lot of teams come to Anfield and play compact and that means there isn’t a lot of space,” goalkeeping coach John Achterberg said. “In the past we struggled against teams who sat back with 11 men behind the ball and we’d drop points.

“But the owners made the pitch so much better with the new surface and the water system they had installed. We always have a wet pitch now and that helps the speed of the game so much.

Roberto Firmino

 

 

“I always used to be worried that on a sunny day we’d struggle because the pitch was too slow to move the ball quick to create things. Now the players know how to break teams down and where to find the solutions.”

The investment has certainly brought success. Liverpool lifted the ​Champions League last season and are on track to end their long wait for the ​Premier League. Money well spent.