"The best moment to win the ball is immediately after your team just lost it," Klopp said. "The opponent is still looking for orientation where to pass the ball. He will have taken his eyes off the game to make his tackle or interception and he will have expended energy. Both make him vulnerable."
"I don’t like winning with 80 per cent (of possession). Sorry that is not enough for me," said the Liverpool coach. "Fighting football, not serenity football, that is what I like. What we call in German 'English'— a rainy day, heavy pitch, 5-5, everybody is dirty in the face and goes home and cannot play for the next four weeks."
For the Gegenpress to work perfectly, however, incredible amounts of focus, awareness and fitness are required. Players must be able to move speedily in order to close down open space, as well as exerting pressure on their opponents without committing a challenge worthy of a foul – or leaving your teammates completely exposed and liable so that the opponents can counter.
The key to a rapid pressing system is that it relies on the whole team working in unison. If one cog of the team does not do their job, the whole design can fall apart. For example, it will be ineffective if nine outfield players are applying pressure but the tenth is in a compromised position that could see the shape dismantled by one simple pass from the opponent.
Each player must be aware of the whereabouts of their teammates in addition to comprehending their role in any event of an attacking or defensive spell, as well as adapting rapidly to always keep the opposition under pressure. When deployed effectively, the Gegenpress offsets the threat of potential counterattacks that would usually work on teams who have a more defensive approach. The Gegenpress requires an incredible amount of focus and organisation, and when it goes wrong, the whole game can fall apart. But when executed well, Gegenpress teams are intensely difficult to contain, and those trying to suppress them will have difficulty regaining their own mental focus. Klopp's sides have always been praised for being on the attacking front-foot, never happy to sit back and play defensively against a side known for their goalscoring threats.
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