News Live Scores
Liverpool

Gerrard should celebrate ‘like a crazy devil’ if Aston Villa score against Liverpool, says Klopp

12:15 AM GMT+8 11/12/2021
Steven Gerrard Aston Villa 2021
The club legend will be back at Anfield in the away dugout on Saturday, with strong ties to the Reds being put to one side for 90 minutes

Jurgen Klopp says Steven Gerrard should celebrate “like a crazy devil” if Aston Villa score against Liverpool on Saturday, with the Reds legend preparing for his first visit to Anfield in the away dugout.

After cutting his managerial teeth at Scottish champions Rangers, the fan favourite on Merseyside finds himself back in the Premier League at Villa Park.

It promises to be an emotional day for Gerrard, and Klopp can appreciate if the strong ties between club and ex-captain will be severed for 90 minutes.

What has been said?

Having faced similar situations himself in the past, Liverpool boss Klopp told reporters of welcoming Gerrard to Anfield: “Wonderful story. I can imagine a bit how his feelings are. No sentiments, blah, blah, blah.

“Meanwhile already Stevie is an experienced coach and manager and knows exactly how to approach games but he probably has no idea how it will feel when he steps into the stadium and out of the dugout.

“I had that in a similar way the first time I went back to Mainz and the first time I went with Liverpool back to Dortmund. It's strange, you pretty much like all the people you meet when you step into the stadium and that's pretty much not normally the case.

“When you go somewhere it is easier to be very competitive. I could handle it, Stevie will handle it. Stevie is friends with 99.9 per cent of the people working at Liverpool and the 0.1 per cent never met him as they arrived after him. I've never heard a negative world about Steven Gerrard since I was here.

“He's a great guy and he will come here and want to win the football game and after I shake hands we will go full throttle and I remember when we scored for Dortmund at Mainz I forgot all about my story at Mainz and celebrated like a crazy devil. He is allowed to do that as well, I just hope he has no reason for it.”

Is Gerrard a future Liverpool manager?

Prior to his appointment at Villa, Gerrard had been billed by many as a Liverpool manager of the future.

He is now a direct rival, but Klopp – who has suggested that he will be taking a break from coaching when his current contract comes to an end in 2024 – believes Gerrard will head home at some stage.

The German said: “Oh yeah. I think absolutely. The only problem is when is the right moment for that. We saw it with Frank [Lampard] at Chelsea. He is doing really well but is very young from a manager's point of view.

“When is the right moment to take the manager's job? Not because he's not able to do it but how long do you want to do it? Is it the last job you want to do? The second job? Those are questions I can't answer, but yes I think it will definitely happen – and good for everybody.”

He added: “It's not for me to make the decision. I don't know what you have to do before you become Liverpool manager.

“I know people say you have to win things but I'm not sure about that. It is more important you win things when you are here, you don't have to win things in the past with all this 'proven winner' rubbish. You can win things in the past and never win things again.

“The most important thing for each manager is that the club is in a stable moment, then you have a good chance to improve things.

“Everything what he did so far looks good and he's going in absolutely the right direction – but what does that mean? I can't see a scenario where I will be involved in that decision but who knows what the future brings. We will see.”

The bigger picture

Liverpool are hoping they can avoid the run of injuries that stunted their progress last season, but more knocks are being picked up in 2021-22.

Klopp said: “Diogo [Jota] felt something after the last Premier League game and he didn’t train yet. We will see, maybe he can train today and then he is an option and if not, then not.

“Divock [Origi] was just intensity, we took him out for a day, extra recovery day and I think he will be fine for tomorrow. I didn’t hear anything different.

“[Nat Phillips] unfortunately, it [cheekbone] is broken. It is not as bad as it could have been, so no surgery needed and he can pretty much train from next week on but reduced because everything that could hit him in the face could cause proper damage.

“That’s why he has to be careful and make sure in the moment when he is allowed [to train fully], when the bone has healed, he will be in a good physical shape, so that’s great. How long it will take exactly, I don’t know. Four or five weeks, something like that. We will see.”

Further reading