Jurgen Klopp hails Arsene Wenger, calls him 'football maniac'
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger for his longevity at the club and believes that the Frenchman is one of the best managers in the world. Klopp did not hold back as he paid tribute to the 66-year-old and called him a ‘football maniac’.
Klopp was speaking ahead of the league leaders’ visit to Anfield on Wednesday night with 2016 marking the 20th anniversary of Wenger’s arrival in North London.
The German revealed that he was already a fan of the French tactician but his respect for Wenger has grown further after his arrival at Merseyside last year.
"My respect goes up day by day because it's really intensive to work in the Premier League, especially in a team with international matches [for their players] too," the German said.
"He always had my biggest respect but now it's a little bit bigger since I'm here. That's really a brilliant job he's done - 19-and-a-half years.”
Calling Wenger a high-quality manager and his longevity ‘rare’, the former Borussia Dortmund manager said he was looking forward to a tough challenge against the Arsenal boss.
"He's a high-quality manager, one of the best in the world for sure. This long period, it's really rare that you can do this but he did. He's a football maniac, in the best [sense of the word].
"It was always a challenge to play against him and again a challenge that I'm looking forward to," he said.
Arsenal are in a good moment: Klopp
Arsenal’s visit to Anfield on Wednesday night will be the first meeting between the two managers since the arrival of Klopp in English football. However, the two have known each other for a while now having met during the Group Stages of the Champions League in 2011, 2013 and 2014 with Klopp in charge of Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
The German gaffer named Arsenal along with Manchester City as the two best sides in the Premier League currently and sought to draw inspiration from his side’s impressive wins against City and Chelsea earlier to get a favourable result against the Gunners.
"After 10 minutes at Chelsea it was a very, very good away game and from the first second against City," he said.
"The main information we should take out of these two matches is we have to be really good. If we are good, then it could fit for this game of course.”
"But Arsenal, together with City, are the two best teams at this moment in the Premier League. To stay in a good position against Man City, they need all the points, they cannot [pick and choose] where they want to get it.
Klopp also warned his side saying Arsenal would be arriving in Merseyside with an intent to showcase their title ambitions. However, he added that Liverpool's performance against Stoke in the League Cup was a sign that his side could produce the goods when needed.
"They will show us that they have real ambitions this year. They're in a good moment.”
"We can be, we're not that consistent in the performances in the last weeks but [the 1-0 win over] Stoke was a good sign of what my team is capable of."