Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has recalled the first time he “stepped in the s*** as a manager”.
The German won his first trophy with the Reds last season as they lifted the Champions League, while his side have made a perfect start to the new Premier League campaign.
However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Klopp and he explains how “learning” from his mistakes has been an important part of his evolution.
“I think 98% of football is about dealing with failure and still being able to smile and find joy in the game the next day,” Klopp told The Players Tribune.
“I’ve been learning from my mistakes since the very beginning. I’ll never forget the first one. I had taken over the job in 2001 at Mainz, where I had been a player for 10 years. The problem was that all the boys were still my friends. Overnight, I was their boss. They were still calling me ‘Kloppo.’
“When I had to announce the squad for the first match, I thought it was only right that I go and tell each player to his face.
“Well, this was a very bad plan, because we had twin hotel rooms.
“So you can imagine it. I get to the first room, and I sit the two players down on the bed, and I turn to one and say, ‘You are starting tomorrow.’
“I turn to the other and say, ‘Unfortunately, you are not starting tomorrow.’
“I realised how dumb my plan was when the second player looked me in the eyes and asked, ‘But … Kloppo … why?’
“Most of the time, there is no answer. The only real answer is, ‘We can only start 11 players.’
“Unfortunately, I had to do this eight more times — 18 players in nine twin rooms. Two guys sitting on the bed. ‘You’re starting, you’re not.’
“Every time, ‘But … Kloppo … why?’
“Hahahah! It was excruciating!
“This was the first of many, many, times that I stepped in the s*** as a manager. What can you do? You just grab a tissue and clean it off and try to learn from it.”