Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool “must think of new ways” to beat Arsenal after admitting the Reds cannot match Arsenal’s brand of possession football.
Liverpool face Arsenal on Wednesday before going head to head with Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday, with any slender hopes of qualifying for the Champions League dependent on positive outcomes.
Klopp says his respect for Arsene Wenger’s ability to impose a purist style has increased since recognising the specific demands of English football. The German says it would be futile for Liverpool to attempt to outpass the league leaders.
“Arsenal and Arsene have their own style, it’s possession football, so it’s clear that if we want to play the same way we will be without a chance because they’ve been doing it for longer,” Klopp said. “Arsenal are not only a good possession team, that’s the problem, they have good counter-attacks too and that’s what you have to be aware of.
“It’s a job but it’s a really nice job to think about solutions and how to stop them coming through with their plan. I like things like this.”
Klopp has faced Wenger on numerous occasions while with Borussia Dortmund – winning once, losing once and drawing on two other occasions in the Champions League.
“Absolutely my respect goes up day by day because it is really intensive working in the Premier League,” he said. “He always had my biggest respect but it’s bigger since I was here. He has done a brilliant job. He is a high-quality manager – one of the best in the world. It’s a challenge to play against him.”
Klopp added: “First of all it’s a big challenge to play clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United but if we showed something in last few weeks it’s that we have a plan against good football playing teams.
“Arsenal – together with City – are the two best teams at this moment in the Premier League and to stay in a good position against Man City they need all the points. They will show us they are ambitious. They are in a good moment, we have not had consistency in the performance but Stoke was a good sign of what my team is capable of.”