In the press conference ahead of Liverpool’s tie against Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp spoke about a message from Georginio Wijnaldum to the entire dressing room before the 2-1 win against Spurs.
Klopp was questioned on the importance of a ‘fast start’ after the opposite led Liverpool to sharing the spoils against relegation candidates Fulham when he detailed a talk from Wijnaldum.
The central midfielder, whose contract expires this summer, was ‘shouting’ to the entire dressing room according to Klopp, urging them not to ‘waste the first-half again’ before they went out to play Spurs.
Wijnaldum’s message certainly got through as the Reds took the lead in the 26th minute, with the Anfield outfit the better half in the opening period, even though Heung-Min Son equalised minutes later.
The Dutchman played the entire 90 minutes of the crucial win that has propped the Reds up to first in the table, as they look to defend their historic first Premier League title.
Jurgen Klopp detailed a pre-match talk from Georginio Wijnaldum before Liverpool’s crucial win against Spurs which says it all about the industrious Dutchman… pic.twitter.com/xTamI0AcVK
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“Oh it’s true, I think it was Gini (Wijnaldum) in the dressing room before the Tottenham game, don’t let us waste the first-half again, shouting to the dressing room.”
“He should’ve shouted that again before we came out the dressing room at halftime, because we wasted kind of 10 or 15 minutes then.”
“Obviously it was a different game, but it makes sense completely, but if you don’t have the perfect start – which is completely normal because it can happen – then you have to restart in the next minute and not after halftime.”
“We have space for improvement, it’s incredible, but the boys played a pretty good game in the last game (vs Spurs) which was a really difficult game. We feel good in this moment and we try to use that.”
Wijnaldum has started 17 of his 20 appearances across all competitions this season, he’s certainly still a key player for the Reds as he’s played the entire 90 minutes in all but one of their league games.
The 30-year-old has now made 206 appearances for the Reds, with Klopp’s latest comments reiterating the importance he plays off the pitch as well as on it.
Wijnaldum’s leadership is something that’s clearly been recognised by the Dutch national team, as he’s become the captain with club and country teammate Virgil van Dijk sidelined with a lengthy knee injury.