Liverpool have been one of the clubs affected most by the COVID-19 outbreak – they were set to win the Premier League in a game or two prior to football’s suspension around the world from mid-March.
The resumption, set for Wednesday 17 June 2020 was music to the ears of supporters who wanted to be sure they claimed their first league title in 30 years.
Players of Premier League clubs have been back in small group training since Tuesday 19 May, which allowed for non-contact sessions up to 75 minutes in groups of five at most.
Clubs then moved to phase two of Project Restart at the end of last week by voting to allow contact in training sessions, three weeks before the 2019-20 season restarts.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has now spoken to the club’s official website to explain the changes in training during the COVID-19 outbreak. The German coach said:
“It’s absolutely brilliant, a massive difference.
“The weather is just outstanding, it means all the things we have to do outside – we don’t have changing rooms here, that makes it all slightly difficult – but with the weather it’s absolutely no problem, it’s rather nice to do it this way.
“So, we enjoy it a lot. We could work on all the things we wanted to work on. The first week was already really good with the small groups, I enjoyed that as well, because it was just important to get on track again, to get used to the pitch and ball and boots and all that stuff. And now we work on tactical things, that works really well.”
Moving onto the new regulations, Klopp went onto explain the preparation that’s gone into regulating temperatures, ensuring social distancing measures are in place, and keeping everything sanitised:
“It’s [been] a massive organisational challenge, to be honest. What Ray Haughan did in that department is unbelievable – where we can park, where we can walk and all that stuff.
“When you make the step from 10 players of two groups of five, to nearly 30, that’s massive. And we still have to stick to the same things. So, we are fully concentrated when we come in here, let me say it like this; that we do the right things, that we get the temperature tested and all these things. It’s not like it usually is.
“It’s completely fine but it’s just when you come here it’s not like, ‘Yippee!’ – you think, ‘Where do I have to drive, where is somebody who gets my temperature?’ and all that stuff. That’s how it is in the moment.”
At the time of the Premier League’s suspension, Liverpool had a staggering 25-point lead over Manchester City in second. The Reds had nine matches left to play and Pep Guardiola’s side, 10.
The Merseyside derby at Goodison Park had been Liverpool’s next fixture and is now expected to take place between Friday 19-Sunday 21 June. Liverpool would win the title at Everton’s home ground with a victory matched by Arsenal beating Manchester City on the Wednesday before.