Jurgen Klopp likes to run, there’s little doubt about that.
Evertonians don’t need reminding of the German’s appetite for a sprint celebration after he famously strode on to the Anfield turf last season to embrace Alisson Becker following Divock Origi’s bizarre last-minute winner against the Blues.
Klopp apologised for that outburst of over-exuberance, but if he was elated on that occasion, he was less so when the FA Cup third-round draw was made on Monday evening.
He said: “I didn’t run through my living room to celebrate. I think for both (teams) it was not exactly what you wish for.
“But we have no problem playing Everton, it’s a big game, great club, big opponent. Last year we had Wolves at home and Chelsea away in the League Cup.
“Obviously we go always the hard way. That’s our way, but we have time. Until we have to prepare for ‘that’ Everton game, we must prepare for ‘this’ Everton game. Hopefully we do the right things.”
If facing Everton hadn’t exactly thrilled Klopp there is little doubt that his opposite number Marco Silva would have been far from ecstatic either.
But the under-fire Toffees boss must have private doubts that he will even still be around to preside over the January cup clash, as he faces mounting pressure from disgruntled supporters who want him to be removed.
With Everton languishing in 17th place in the Premier League, they could do without a Wednesday night trip to Anfield against a team that contains no fewer than four players who made it into the Ballon d’Or top 10 list this week.
Dutch centre back Virgil van Dijk had been widely tipped to collect the top prize but was edged out by Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi, as the Barcelona legend won it for a record sixth time.
That was not quite how Klopp saw it however.
— Richard Garnett 🇬🇧 (@garnster) December 3, 2019
He said: “The decision is made by journalists? I see it slightly different. Leo Messi is probably the best player I have seen in my lifetime. I’ve seen him a lot more than Maradona. But I have not seen a more impressive last season from a defender than Virgil.
“It’s nice but it’s last season, I think all awards are done and now the boys can look forward to new awards.”
Liverpool will be hot favourites when they host Everton on Wednesday evening, but Klopp was in no mood to get carried away and called out the warning signs.
“The table tells the full truth at the end of the season, not in the middle. Everton have a good squad. I don’t know why it’s not clicking right now. They have had some injuries.
“There’s a lot of pressure. Everton is a very ambitious club. Rightly so. They are not the only ones in this situation.
“Everton want to strike back to show what they can do. They can solve a lot of problems in one game. When you are connected to this club it is always a game that you want to win.”
Despite his public caution, Klopp will know that victory is the expectation, just don’t expect him to go on any mad dashes across the pitch if it materialises.
Richard Garnett at Melwood