Basel — After his side's chastening loss to Sevilla in the
Europa League final, Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp hopes the demoralizing
defeat will be fondly remembered over time as a key turning point in the club's
A 3-1 loss to a clearly superior Sevilla team showed how
much work the charismatic German will need to do in the offseason to improve a
squad he took over just seven months ago, following the sacking of Brendan
"We will use this experience together," Klopp said.
"Someday everybody will say Basel was a very decisive moment for a
wonderful future of Liverpool."
But first of all, he must address how and why Liverpool's
play slumped after Sevilla levelled the match less than 20 seconds into the
second half — and then totally dominated it after that, often pulling
Liverpool's defense apart with ease.
"Of course this team will be a little bit different
next year," Klopp said, with his mind already on the summer transfer
window. "We have to work on it."
In some ways, Klopp's first part-season at Anfield was a
holding operation — and a quite successful one — with a disjointed group he got
Klopp chose not to make major changes in the January
transfer window, and — with a well-organized team that had clear weak links —
he almost repeated Rafa Benitez's European feat of winning the 2005 Champions
League in his debut season with Liverpool.
Also read: Europa exploits set Liverpool benchmark – Klopp
But with no Champions League football to offer potential new
signings — the place UEFA gives to Europa winners goes to Sevilla — Klopp's
immediate task has been made much harder.
Still, he will at least have a lighter schedule next season.
"That means not a lot of football on Wednesday, not a
lot of football on Thursday," said Klopp, whose hard-running, pressing
style has clearly worked on his players. "It means we have time to
Klopp may also need some luck with injuries at the European
Championship — which will be held in France from June 10-July 10 — with seven
matches in a month should any of his players reach the final.
"It will be a long tournament for a lot of my
players," Klopp said. "Belgian players, English players, German
players. Hopefully they all come back healthy."
Even if they do all come back from Euro 2016 injury-free,
they will have a lot to learn after being so outwitted by Sevilla.
"To have this consistency in the game they need a
little bit more time maybe," Klopp said. "We will use it, and we will
come back stronger, that's for sure."
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