English Premiership

Interesting info details Klopp's psychological approach to Liverpool's FA Cup victory

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Jurgen Klopp and the entire Liverpool team before their FA Cup penalty shootout. (Twitter: @GeirJordet)
Jurgen Klopp and the entire Liverpool team before their FA Cup penalty shootout. (Twitter: @GeirJordet)

A detailed Twitter thread doing the rounds showcases how Jurgen Klopp's psychological approach ensured Liverpool beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final penalty shootout.

After 120 minutes at Wembley on Saturday, Liverpool and Chelsea went into their second consecutive cup final, having to settle it with spot kicks.

After winning the Carabao Cup earlier this year, Liverpool already has silverware in their cabinet this season, edging the Blues to an 11-10 penalty shootout victory.

Klopp turned on his magic again on Saturday as Liverpool added their second trophy as they look to complete the quadruple.

Football psychology researcher Geir Jordet explained that before the first penalty was taken on Saturday, he believed Klopp and Liverpool already had the upper hand over Chelsea and their manager Thomas Tuchel.

He said on Twitter: "Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup final. A penalty shootout is a psychological game starting with how the manager communicates with his players after the final whistle. Klopp & Tuchel spent those 5 minutes very differently. Here are the events chronologically.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Klopp revealed that he has been working with a company to help the club with penalty shootouts.

"In the end, we all know penalty shootout is a lottery, that’s how it is; but we did it again," said Klopp.

"We work together with the company Neuro11, four guys from Germany. They got in contact with us a few years ago. They are neuroscientists and they said 'we can train penalty shooting'. 

"We said, 'really? That sounds interesting, come over'. And so this trophy is for them, just like the Carabao Cup was."

Jordet continued saying that Klopp's intimate conversation with each penalty taker made a significant difference.

"At around 60 seconds after the final whistle, Klopp already has made his selection and approaches each penalty taker to tell/ask him what shot to take. He does this one-on-one and often cements his ask with his trademark HUG. The asking process is intimate, safe, and loving," he said.

"At 1.30 min, Klopp is done with his rounds, the team is gathered in a huddle, and he gives a short but passionate speech. At 1.45, he finishes and the team breaks up the huddle. At 1.50 min, Tuchel is still revising his notes, and eventually making his way into the huddle."

Jordet then reveals that Tuchel's decision to select penalty takers around the entire team backfired.

"Tuchel spent the first 1-2 minutes seemingly revising his selection, and (probably) from the corner of his eye sees that Liverpool has already finished their huddle before Chelsea has even started it. He then moves to the middle of the circle BEFORE he is done with the plan," he continued.

"Entering the circle of players before you've completed the selection is what happened to Gareth Southgate in the 2021 Euros final – you’re late, not ready, become reactive, and what could have been a smooth final reminder to the team becomes erratic, rushed & stressed.

"In the huddle, Tuchel then asks players about the shots, publicly in front of the whole team. There's plenty of group pressure when done in this way, the chance of honest responses from the players drops, and it creates further stress that carries on to the shootout itself."

Klopp's ability to quicken the process of getting everything done has allowed the manager to have a laugh or two with some of his players and staff.

"While Tuchel is still in the process of selecting and asking his players, Klopp has finished all his administrative duties and spends his time spreading warmth, love and good energy; even taking a moment to have a laugh with van Dijk.

"Because Liverpool finished their huddle early, they step into the mid circle first, and get to pick position. They pick the side closest to their bench, which enables staff to give further instructions during the shootout & maintains closeness to the warmth of the manager.

Jordet concludes that Klopp's Liverpool side are not "born" but "made" due to the extra work put into getting the side ready for stressful moments.

"Jürgen Klopp’s Monsters of mentality are not born, they’re made. Proactive preparation, composed execution, and warm/loving communication tend to give the best possible foundation for performance under extreme pressure. Liverpool was up 1-0 before the shootout had even begun," he said.

Here is the full thread below: 

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