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Gary Neville: Congratulations, Liverpool

Sky Sports pundit Neville pays tribute to Jurgen Klopp; "He came in four years ago and at the time I never thought Liverpool were capable of mounting a Premier League title challenge"

Gary Neville says Jurgen Klopp's job from day one at Liverpool has been outstanding and admitted their title win seemed unrealistic when Klopp arrived at Anfield.

Liverpool were crowned top-flight champions for the first time in 30 years last week, seeing off competition with seven games remaining, and with the Premier League points record in sight.

Klopp took over a Liverpool side who were in mid-table in October 2015, but has transformed them into European champions and eventually English champions, and Neville heaped praise on the German for what had looked to be an unimaginable feat when he arrived.

"How's it been these last few days? It's not been particularly great!" Neville joked to Sky Sports after being asked about the new kings of the Premier League ahead of Manchester United's trip to Brighton.

"It's an incredible achievement. It's been coming for a couple of years. They were knocking on the door last season - Manchester City had to be at their absolute best.

"Jurgen Klopp has turned £30m players into £130m ones. He's turned £75m players into £150m ones.

"The recruitment has been brilliant, the coaching has been brilliant and it all comes from the manager. It's a day I don't like - I'd seen enough of it in my childhood years - but you have to congratulate them."

Neville: Liverpool absolutely the best team this season

Speaking earlier in more depth to Sky Sports about the Reds' title glory, Neville said: "They have absolutely been the best team this season. What Jurgen Klopp has done has been fantastic. He came in four years ago and at the time I never thought Liverpool were capable of mounting a Premier League title challenge. It just felt like all of the other clubs had bigger budgets.

"Liverpool were in a deep rut over many, many years. They have great history and a great fanbase so you can never write clubs like that off, but to go and win a league title ahead of the investment of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United is something I didn't think was possible.

"What Klopp has done over a three or four-year period has been absolutely outstanding. Everything at a football club comes from the manager, he sets the tone for everybody; the players, the owners, the fanbase. Klopp has galvanised Liverpool over a three-year period, brought everybody with him and put a brilliant team together.

"They're a fantastic team, they've been brilliant to watch for three years but painful for me. It's been coming. When you get to a Champions League final and lose you have a little smirk, but when they won the Champions League the following year and chased Manchester City like they did to a point where they would have been worthy champions last season, you can only congratulate them.

"It's obviously something that is horrible for every Manchester United fan, it's something the modern Manchester United fan has never seen but as one who watched them in the '70s and '80s it's a moment we didn't want to see again but one we saw a lot of in our early years."

Liverpool's work in the transfer market has been superb, both in terms of careful signings and selling on previous first-team stars for profit.

Neville says the recruitment has been "laser-focused", with every player fitting the Liverpool mould and vision formed by Klopp.

"It's a brilliant achievement from Klopp, to work within the net spend budget he has to amass that team has been a combination of great coaching and brilliant recruitment.

"The club's recruitment has been absolutely spot on, precise, laser-focused, every single player they have brought in they have made count. Every single player fits a mould, the principles of Klopp, there has been no veering away from that.

"From day one, when Christian Benteke and a few others were deemed not to fit the profile they were moved aside. Klopp has now got quick, energetic strikers who make the runs, a formidable defence, the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment in time, and in midfield he's got reliable players with really good personalities in Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum.

"None of them are individually outstanding or the best in the world in their position, but together as a collective with that goalkeeper, that defence, those full-backs, that strike force, they become the rock in the middle of it all."

Source: Sky Sports

     

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