Ex-Red and current Dortmund coach REVEALS Klopp's big secret

There can be no doubt that Jurgen Klopp's departure will leave a massive void at Liverpool at the end of the season. According to former Reds midfielder Nuri Sahin, the German's unique blend of personal connection and tactical brilliance is what Klopp's successor will find most difficult to replicate.

In a candid interview with Coaches' Voice, Sahin, who only lasted five months at Anfield after joining the Reds on loan from Real Madrid in August 2012, spoke fondly of the coach who not only shaped him as a player but also influenced his transition into coaching.

"Jurgen Klopp had the most influence on my career," Sahin revealed. "First, when I was a player – including when we won the league title in 2011 [at Borussia Dortmund] – but also when I became a coach."

In October 2021, while still a player at Antalyaspor, Sahin, who was 33 at the time, was offered the chance to take over the struggling side, initially as a player-coach, after the sacking of Ersun Yanal.

"Besides my family, he was one of the few guys I called to ask what he thought about the idea that I go from being a player to a head coach," he said.

Sahin remained at the helm for another two years until the offer to rejoin Dortmund as Edin Terzic's assistant manager arose.

The 'human' aspect

Reflecting on his own approach to coaching, the ex-midfielder explained how Klopp's remarkable ability to prioritise the human aspect of football resonated most with him.

"Jurgen had so much influence because he always saw the human being first and then the football player," Sahin said.

"You felt it, from player number one to squad player number 25. Young player or old player, it didn’t matter to him."

Sahin stressed Klopp's role in fostering a cohesive team dynamic, where every player understood their role within the manager's tactical framework.

"At the same time, even the guys on the bench knew what the trigger was for pressing, which way we wanted to build up, where we wanted to explore spaces of the opponent, and how we wanted to do it. We always knew what to do," Sahin said.

A sense of unity

Reflecting on Klopp's impact on Liverpool, Sahin praised the manager's ability to instill a similar sense of unity and purpose within the squad, even during challenging times.

"On the pitch, this was maybe his biggest strength. To create a team, having a clear idea of football and being very intense," Sahin said.

"When you had him on the sideline, it was like you played with 12 players."

Titanic battles

Despite Sahin's short-lived stint at Liverpool, Sahin expressed delight in witnessing Klopp's tactical battles with Manchester City's Pep Guardiola, noting the mutual influence both coaches have had on the game.

"To see these two amazing coaches being up there for 15 years has been very interesting," Sahin said.

"Every match you watch their teams play is like an exam. Afterwards, you feel like: 'Okay, I learned again a new thing.'"

Sahin's reflections serve as a testament to Klopp's enduring legacy, highlighting not only his tactical acumen but also his profound impact on the individuals he mentors, both on and off the field.

Whoever steps into his shoes is going to have a big task ahead of them.

Share This Article