Weird fitness bloke criticises Liverpool and Spurs

Matt Stead

That weird bloke who criticises everyone’s fitness regimes has now targeted Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.

Raymond Verheijen, a football coach who has previously condemned Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal for their fitness standards at Arsenal and Manchester United, has now laid into those at Anfield and White Hart Lane.

“Jurgen Klopp has hopefully learned a valuable lesson at Liverpool,” Verheijen told Omnisport.

“They implemented the style he was successful with in the first few years at Dortmund.

“In the last few years they had a lot of injuries and little success, so you have to put their achievement into perspective. But he’s a top coach, you can’t deny that.

“But they made the classic mistake, like Van Gaal, they implemented their approach irrespective of the circumstances.

“Liverpool used to play a passing game with Brendan Rodgers. When you have possession, you spend less energy. So the playing style was less demanding and the players adapted to that.

“When you implement a more demanding pressing game, the bodies of the players need time to adapt.

“But if Klopp had analysed the situation when he started, he’d have realised they were about to play the most games of anyone in Europe.

“He implemented a more demanding pressing game in a period when players had less time to recover.

“What you ask from the players is to recover from more fatigue in a shorter space of time. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that that’s impossible.”

Verheijen then turned his attention to Tottenham, adding: “Spurs are in a flow, they’re great to watch, but what you often see is that his teams run out of gas in the last part of the season.

“That happened at Southampton and in his first season with Spurs.

“They had some setbacks in the last few weeks, so now the question is will they be able to pick up or will this pattern of losing and drawing develop further. It’s a critical moment for them.