Steve McManaman praises Liverpool's defensive display against Tottenham

Paisley Gateway

The former midfielder says that a high-pressing game should be the standard for the side.

Speaking on BT Sport, broadcast from 12:30pm on Saturday, Steve McManaman was full of praise for Liverpool’s defensive display against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds travelled to White Hart Lane with a new manager in the dugout, as Jurgen Klopp took charge of his first game since replacing Brendan Rodgers in the Reds hot-seat.

One area that many have said he will have to improve is the defence, which had failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight games before travelling to north London.

And McManaman was impressed by the work that the defence put in as they managed to secure a 0-0 draw and break that unwanted run.

“Defensively they looked solid,” he told BT Sport.

“In the second half they really improved. In the first half there were a few mistakes but it was 83 minutes before Harry Kane had a chance. Sakho, Skrtel, Clyne, and even Moreno performed well. There were big positives.”

The former midfielder has, however, insisted that a high-pressing game should have nothing to do with Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy.

Klopp’s successful Dortmund side was built on that philosophy, with them pressing the opposition high up the pitch in an effort to win back the ball and get on the attack, something they labelled as 'gegenpressing'.

He is expected to implement a similar approach at Liverpool, but McManaman says they should be starting games in that manner regardless of who is in charge.

“This is Liverpool football club, you have to start every game with that type of tempo,” he added.

“Liverpool don’t start games and just sit back, you have to go full throttle and show the opposition ‘we mean business’. We’re all talking about Jurgen and his pressing, but that’s how footballers should start a game. It’s not because of Jurgen Klopp.”

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