Liverpool boss, Jürgen Klopp believes Unai Emery’s arrival at Arsenal has lifted the club’s players out of the comfort zone they enjoyed under Arsène Wenger.
Liverpool visit the Emirates Stadium on Saturday four points clear of the Gunners who, despite losing their opening two league games under the new manager, have risen to fourth in the Premier League and won 12 of their last 13 matches in all competitions.
Klopp attributes the impressive run to Emery, who he claims went under the radar in England despite his successes with Sevilla and Paris Saint Germain, and the reaction of Arsenal players to a new voice on the training ground.
“Arsène Wenger is one of the best managers in the world, there’s no doubt about it,” says Klopp, who has not lost to Arsenal as Liverpool manager. “But sometimes after a long time when the mood in a club changes, it’s quite difficult to work against that. That was the situation a bit last year, people respected him a lot but on the other side they thought; ‘Now we should change something’. A change is only good if it is for the better.
“Unai Emery: all people in football knew how good he is, but I am not sure all Arsenal fans were over the moon at first when they heard it would be Emery. But that’s England a little bit, you want the poster boys. Unai was in France and before that in Spain in a smaller club, so you can go a bit under the radar. Not for all the people in football, though. I saw yesterday that he won eight titles in two or three years. That’s pretty big. It was clear that things will change, and the players know now.
“If a new manager comes in – it was the same with me here – all players are immediately out of their comfort zone. They all have to prove from the first day that they are not only the name, they are the footballer as well. They used it obviously pretty well.”
Klopp was speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
Arsenal and Liverpool square up 6:30 PM Nigerian time in the weekend’s star match.
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