No second thoughts for departing Klopp

Since announcing in January he would leave the team at the season’s end, Liverpool’s much-loved manager Juergen Klopp has been asked after virtually every good result whether that was enough to make him consider staying one more year.

Klopp’s men thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 on Sunday on an electric afternoon at Anfield in his penultimate game in the pulsating stadium – and his answer was the same.

“It seems to be really strange what I did, nobody really understands it, I tried to explain it,” Klopp said of his departure announcement. “I didn’t say what I said because I was not happy with the atmosphere in the stadium or with the way we played football. I think when I spoke about it, we played exceptional football, so that was not the difference.

“Other reasons. So no, that didn’t influence that decision.”

Strikes from Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott secured a much needed victory for Klopp’s men, who had won one of their previous five league games and seen their title challenge crumble.

The victory kept them mathematically in the running to finish top of the pile, although their chances are razor thin, being five points off leaders Arsenal in the table with two games remaining and four points behind holders Manchester City, who have a game in hand over both.

Klopp, whose final appearance on the Anfield touchline will be May 19 when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers on the season’s last day, was asked about making believers of Liverpool fans after he was hired in 2015.

“This is a very, very special club,” he said. “I didn’t make them believe, I reminded them that it helps when you believe, that’s what I think.

“Everybody was ready to push the train. And that’s what we did for eight and a half years.”

When asked what it takes to be Liverpool manager, the 56-year-old said he loved the “football side,” but hinted he did not completely love everything else that came with the job.

“To coach the team, grow together as a unit, I love that part,” he said. “But what is really hard, the outside world is really hard. I’m not an outside person. Even until today, I don’t understand why people want an autograph from me, but it happens quite frequently.

“That’s all the things I need to stop at one point, just going home and sit down for a moment and have a look from how that feels. People asked me will you miss it? Probably, but I don’t know. Never had it.

“But again, the question was: what did it take (to be Liverpool manager)? I understand a little bit of football, that’s probably my skill. I love people and especially football players. So from that point of view, it was not difficult. I enjoyed it a lot.”

Liverpool play at Aston Villa on May 13 in their penultimate game. Reuters.

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