Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has said the advice of Jurgen Klopp is “gold dust” as he takes his first steps in management as the club’s under-18s boss.
Gerrard and Klopp spoke to Bet Victor at the club’s Melwood training ground, with Klopp stressing that management was “a job that you have to learn.”
Former England midfielder Gerrard guided Liverpool’s U19s to the UEFA Youth League quarterfinals, where they were beaten by Manchester City, and said he was enjoying his new career.
“There’s so much information to learn and take in,” he said. “Everything that’s new is not a struggle but different.
“For the first time you’ll have 25 players around you, and you have to take what’s on the paper and go and deliver it on the field.
“Then you get your first player knocking on the door [asking]: ‘Why aren’t I playing?’ But with time, if you’re faced with these situations again, you think: ‘What did I do right, what did I do wrong?'”
Asked whether he approached Kopp for advice, Gerrard said: “That’s already happened.
“There are numerous times I’ve phoned him, texted him or been here [to Melwood] and asked a question. For me that’s gold dust.
“He is obviously a lot more experienced than me in what I’m trying to do. Any little bits and bobs I can get from Jurgen and his staff, or anything I see him doing, I obviously need to take it in and add it to what I’m already doing.
“I’m enjoying the role and making loads of mistakes, but they’re off-camera – which is what he suggested was the best move.”
Gerrard said his experience had given him more appreciation of how tough the job was, and said sorry for questioning those who had managed him.
“I apologise for all that and I realise how much of a difficult job it is for any coach or manager, because it’s a completely different ball game,” he added.
Klopp, who said he had been 20 when he first realised that he wanted to become a manager, said he was “really happy” that Gerrard is enjoying the challenges of the job.
“It doesn’t happen too often that a player of his size starts on this level”, he said. “That’s why I always say it’s a job you have to learn.
“If you are ready to learn it you don’t have to be a genius to come through — you need to be busy and interested, and then it’s possible.
“It’s a big help that you have been a world class player, because then you know all about the game and have your own ideas.
“But if that is the only thing you were — a world-class player but not ready to learn the next step — then it doesn’t help.”
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