Liverpool’s Pep Lijnders: ‘Our identity is intensity. It comes back in every drill’

Jürgen Klopp’s assistant on designing training, playing paddle tennis with the manager and why James Milner inspired himLong before Liverpool reached last season’s Champions League final, preparations for a possible showdown in Madrid were being made by Pepijn “Pep” Lijnders. The semi-final against Barcelona had not been played but Jürgen Klopp’s assistant was already contemplating the ideal preparation. He thought about inviting a team who could mimic Ajax’s or Tottenham’s style, to give Liverpool an idea of what they could expect if they overcame Barça.The location was decided. Marbella’s weather was similar to Madrid’s and it would be relatively easy to fly a team there secretly. “I really wanted to organise a game because otherwise it would have been three weeks without any competitive action,” Lijnders says. “I wanted us to play a similar team to the opponents we could face in Madrid. The idea was to privately invite a team to train three to four days in the way we wanted them to play us in the friendly.” Continue reading…