Juergen Klopp hasn’t changed me, insists Liverpool’s Adam Lallana

Reds’ midfielder says German boss has made an impact at the Merseyside club but England international is still the same player who walked through the door at Anfield

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 October, 2016, 5:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 11:53pm

In-form Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has played down the impact that manager Juergen Klopp has had on his own excellent form this season.

As the Merseyside club prepares for the visit of fellow title contenders Manchester United to Anfield on Monday night, the England midfielder said there had been no change in his approach since the German’s appointment.

“I’ve been the same Adam Lallana since the minute I walked in the door at Liverpool really,” the 28-year-old told the Post.

“Obviously players go through ups and downs form-wise or it may take some a little bit longer to settle,” said Lallana.

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“A new manager comes in and implements his own style on the team. But the manager is the one who takes responsibility for results. If you’re not doing what he asks you to do, then you’re not going to play.”

Klopp has been widely credited with the midfielder’s upturn in form since he took over the club in October of last year.

The Englishman has become a central figure in Klopp’s team as an all-action outlet encompassing the manager’s well acknowledged “gegenpress” approach.

Lallana covered a Premier League record 13.1 kilometres during Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Leicester City on September 10, breaking the previous mark he himself set during his team’s draw away at Tottenham in August when he covered a distance of 12.5km.

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The Liverpool man has enjoyed a fine start to the new season culminating in his nomination for the September player of the month award after a series of eye-catching performances for the Reds.

So far this term he has scored three goals and provided three assists in addition to netting a long overdue first international goal in England’s 1-0 win over Slovakia last month. In contrast he managed just six goals and four assists in the whole of last season, which was an improvement on his five goals and three assists during his first season at Anfield.

But the former Southampton man acknowledged the German has had an impact on the club since his appointment.

“Obviously on the football side of things he’s got a way of playing. He’s got a style and gradually over the course of the year, definitely in preseason, he was getting that across to his players. He’s got his squad here I think and obviously he’ll be trying to succeed and win things.”

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Liverpool’s strong start to the new season has seen them installed as second favourites to claim the league title in May. Lallana says the players aren’t allowing those predictions to affect their approach.

“We’re not gonna be able to hide away from the fact that we’re in and around [the top of the league] and if we keep picking up results, I think a lot more people are going to be talking about it [Liverpool’s chances of winning the league]. But we’ve got a good manager here with a lot of experience and he probably knows how to deal with the press and take it a game at a time, which is what we’re doing at the moment.”

Although he was absent from the England squad for the two recent World Cup qualifiers as he recovers from a groin injury he sustained in Liverpool’s win over Swansea City earlier this month, Lallana revealed he was disappointed at the sudden departure of Sam Allardyce but hopeful of the national team’s prospects under Gareth Southgate who is tipped to be given the job on a full-time basis.

“We were just at the start of what we thought was something good with a new manager and new ideas and for that to be brought to a halt quite soon was disappointing, but we have to move on. I missed the last group of internationals but I’ve heard good things about Gareth [Southgate] and the way he wants to move forward with his team. Hopefully I’ll be back in for the qualifiers in November.”

Lallana said he is “touch and go” to feature in the game against Manchester United on Monday night, but claimed the match carries more importance than usual after recent league results between the two sides.

"It’s a massive game, especially since we’ve lost the last four league games against them. They’re a team that are filled with superstars. They might have had a couple of indifferent results lately, but it’s still going to be a very difficult game for us. And with [Jose] Mourinho coming to Anfield I’m sure the build-up will be big. If we play how we’ve been playing, then we’re a force against any team."

Lallana has already scored at the new-look Anfield this season and said the extra 10,000 fans inside the ground for the first night game in front of the spectacular new Main Stand will be a factor.

“The new stand is magnificent. It creates a special atmosphere. I’m sure on Monday night the atmosphere will be outstanding against United.”

Adam Lallana and Liverpool FC support Standard Chartered’s Seeing Is Believing international charity, which helps people who suffer from preventable blindness. For more information, visit https://www.sc.com/