James Milner one of the three players who are in Liverpool from the beginning of Klopp’s era. Milner came to Liverpool in 2015, before that he used to play with Manchester City. He has been an indispensable force at the club today. He recalls the intensive training sessions with Klopp and much more in an interview with Sky Sports News.
Milner on training sessions with Klopp
The training session with Klopp used to be very intensive. Milner said, “We had to adapt to that, there were a lot of injuries early on. “People were saying, ‘You can’t do that!’ You could, you just had to get used to it. Straight away you saw the tempo and the intensity in that first game at Spurs.”
He added, “It was ridiculous really, it wasn’t like we had played at a slow tempo under Brendan [Rodgers]. That journey started then with the manager’s methods and how he wanted us to play. You saw it come in bit by bit. One week the quality would be there and the next week we would be miles off it. That was a process again; the consistency started to come in and, eventually, learning how to win ugly and become a more rounded team.” According to Milner, those hard training sessions gave Liverpool consistency.
Milner on playing left-back in 2016-17 season
Milner played a whole season at Liverpool as a left-back, which is not his actual position. But it is truly said that footballers don’t have a specific position. “It was what the manager needed at the time. There’s always going to position you to prefer but you do what’s needed for the team. I suppose at that point I could have turned around and said, ‘No I don’t want to do that, I want to leave.’”
He continued, “He came to ask me to do it in pre-season and my mindset was, ‘OK, how can I be the best I can be in that position?’ and I started to learn the role. A few of the boys were a bit surprised when we set up at pre-season training the next day and I was at left-back, but that was part of the fun.” Today he finds that move of Klopp very sensible.
Part of Klopp’s persuasive powers too?
The interviewer asked Milner, Part of Klopp’s persuasive powers too? On which he answered, “Yeah I think so, you can see how he is around the team, but it’s also wanting to be part of that. Do you want to walk away from Liverpool and a manager of his caliber and not be part of something? I did the job as best I could and the year after that I don’t know what was in his mind. Maybe he thought, ‘Left-back, that’s him done,’ so it was a challenge to force my way back into the reckoning in midfield and I managed to do that.”
Milner’s journey under Klopp has been amazing so far. Every player who played under Klopp would say the same thing that it was ‘Amazing’. It is very impressive how Liverpool grew under Klopp, from winning a Champions League title last year to winning the Premier League this year.