Sean Dyche’s admiration for Jurgen Klopp and his title-winning Liverpool side ahead of trip to Anfield
Dyche’s side are often described as displaying a lot of traditionally British traits.
But many of those traits were used by Klopp in his homeland, and the pressing and swift transitions are a big feature of his Premier League-winning Liverpool side.
Dyche is a keen student of European and World football – in between leaving Watford and taking the Burnley job in 2012, he took in a trip to Valencia to study their methods.
And he was also at Wembley in 2013 for the Champions League Final as Dortmund were beaten late on in the first all-German final by Bayern Munich.
Klopp has since lifted that trophy as well with the Reds last year.
And, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Anfield, Dyche said of his opposite number: “I did watch the Champions League final at Wembley, as a guest of UCFB, which I really enjoyed.
“You learn about the different styles managers have got – I think he’s got a connection with the players, and that’s something I’ve built here over time.
“I think the main thing is, when you think of title-winning sides, the biggest thing I look for is the willingness to work, and they are willing to work.
“Man City have it without a doubt, and they deliver it regularly, the detail and the workload is always there.
“Very rarely it’s not.
“And Liverpool have shown that.
“The other thing, I said early season, and got a bit of stick for it, that they can win ugly.
“I don’t know how I got stick for that, it’s the biggest compliment I could give other managers.
“Most teams in any division, when they’re really on their performance levels, can win a game.
“What about the ones where you’re not, when you have injuries, when it’s tight and it’s ugly?
“Can you win those games? They are the games that win titles.
“The big games, of course, but the ones when you’re not really flying, and maybe a tired or hard-working performance.
“They’ve learned how to do that, whether by design or experience, but it seems to me they’ve had a few quiet games, and still come out with very big results, and that wins you titles.”
Klopp has put together a tight-knit group, whose camaraderie is there for all to see.
And while he has spent money, his net spend is impressive – since 2015/16, Liverpool have spent £515.59m, bringing in £408.02m in sales.
Dyche’s idea of footballing nirvana remains Sir Alex Ferguson’s peak Manchester United – the treble winners of 1999 – but he feels Liverpool have the lot.
He added: “I think the players have bonded.
“He’s bought in some big signings, massive signings financially, but the right ones.
“He’s playing how he was in Germany really, high press, counter the counter, a loose three surrounded by a midfield willing to work, and they can play by the way.
“Henderson’s a shining light of what’s good about team play, Van Dijk absolute Rolls-Royce of a centre half, and a keeper as calm as you like - that’s not bad.
“Three centre forwards who can cause havoc with their movement, cleverness, particularly the wide players coming in off Firmino, who can hold it up and do the defensive side well.
“And there’s a willingness and desire to do what they need to do to win, a constant willingness, and they deserve it massively, as Man City have in the past and Man United did for years.
“United are my favourites, as you know, for their style, where they could hurt you in any way, they grind out results and find a win, Fergie-time when they’d score in the last seconds...
“They are all the things you need that win you titles.
“That’s what I think is important.”