Liverpool No2 Pep Lijnders lands management job with club set to play in major tournament Klopp couldn’t qualify for


LIVERPOOL’S assistant manager has landed a new job as boss of a club set to compete in a competition Jurgen Klopp couldn’t qualify for.

The Reds were rocked in January when their German manager announced that he would be leaving Anfield this summer.

PAJurgen Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders (left) has landed a new job in Austria[/caption]

GettyThe two men will both bid farewell to Anfield on Sunday[/caption]

The 56-year-old ensured that he will depart with some silverware when guiding the Reds to Carabao Cup success in February.

However, his hopes of leading them to the title are as well as their FA Cup and Europa League aspirations also being ended.

Feyenoord manager Arne Slot, 45, is widely-believed to have already agreed to become Liverpool’s new boss for next season.

And fans are just waiting for the formalities to be completed and an official announcement to be made with the Dutchman set to move into Klopp’s house on Merseyside.

But, while Klopp is set to make an emotional farewell to the Kop against Wolves in his final game on Sunday, two of his staff members are looking forward to an exciting new challenge.

Pepijn Lijnders, will take over as Red Bull Salzburg manager after he departs Liverpool this weekend.

And he will be joined at the Austrian Bundesliga giants by fellow Anfield coach Vitor Matos, who will go as his No.2.

Lijnders said: “I am very proud to become the new head coach of FC Red Bull Salzburg.


“This is a real privilege for me. After PSV Eindhoven, FC Porto and Liverpool FC, I am now moving to another exceptional club with a really good structure and a particular focus on youth development.

“I want to develop a mentality with the team that places a lot of emphasis on attacking style of play and where passion and hunger for success are the basis of everything.

“Together with my assistant coach Vitor Matos and the entire support team, we will do our best to help the club continue to grow in an ever-changing football world.

“My family has visited the city before and was overwhelmed by its beauty and the friendliness of the people. That was the last and important step for me in choosing FC Red Bull Salzburg.”

Lijnders initially worked at Liverpool from 2014 as U16s coach but then stepped up to be first-team development coach in 2015.

Working initially under Brendan Rodgers, he remained in his role under Klopp before the Dutchman headed for a one-year spell as boss at NEC Nijmegen in his homeland.

What they have said about Arne Slot

Here’s what the experts think about Klopp’s replacement:

MATT WADE, head of sporting strategy at Feyenoord

“He is a brilliant communicator, and consultative, but also clear at the same time.

“He is quite cautious, quite introverted, but very rule based and principled, which means everyone knows where they stand.

“And he is not paranoid, which allows freedom for specialists to operate.”

SANDER WESTERVELD, former Liverpool goalkeeper and team-mate of Arne Slot

“When I played with Arne at Sparta, you could see that he would become a coach.

“He was a leader, a No10 midfielder and someone who would change tactics by himself.

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“The job he has done at Feyenoord makes him the perfect fit for Liverpool.”

Dutch football journalist MARCEL VAN DER KRAAN

“I’ve followed Feyenoord for 40 years. Not since the days of Johan Cruyff at Ajax in the 1980s has there been a coach so attack-minded in the Dutch league.

“Cruyff only had a few disciples who followed him and one of them was Pep Guardiola.”

Arsenal star REISS NELSON who played 31 games under Slot on loan at Feyenoord

“I felt like Arne Slot is a great manager. He really got me into my rhythm.

“He gave me a lot of opportunities to play and I excelled.”

But Lijnders returned to Liverpool as assistant manager ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and played a key role in Klopp’s success.

Liverpool were denied a place at the expanded 2025 Club World Cup while Arsenal also missed out after they were eliminated from the Champions League.

Fifa decided that no more than two teams per country would be guaranteed participation in the controversial 32-team event with Man City and Chelsea representing the Premier League.

Each Champions League winner from the period between 2021 and 2024 qualifies, meaning the 2023 and 2021 winners both make the cut.

That ruled out the Kopites, while Arsenal needed to go all the way by winning this season’s Champions League to take part in it.

However, they have now been knocked out of both events as a result of their defeat by Bayern Munich in the quarters.

Instead, their spot will go to RB Salzburg – who will have their new man at the helm.

They’ve never won a European trophy and have only ever made it out of the Champions League group stage once.

The second criteria is based on a club’s place in the Uefa Champions League coefficient over the same period, which is how Salzburg got in.

Klopp has botched his Liverpool exit… and it’s cost him his legacy, says Dave Kidd

By Dave Kidd

NOW we know Jurgen Klopp’s final major trophy haul at Liverpool — one Champions League, one Premier League, one FA Cup, two League Cups and (if you must) a World Club Cup.

But where does his reign stand among the greatest of the Premier League era?

In black-and-white terms, Klopp is way behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola, the only two men to have won multiple Premier Leagues and a Champions League at the same club.

Those two sit alongside Brian Clough, Bob Paisley and Sir Matt Busby as the undoubted all-time managerial greats of the English game.

But Klopp ranks in the next tier down — with Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho (the Chelsea version), Bill Shankly and Don Revie.

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These were all men with the strength of character to transform their clubs in their own image and enjoy success but who did not win as much as they might have done.

Had Klopp managed to keep his intentions under wraps and ended up with another title, perhaps even a treble or quadruple, he’d have edged himself up into that highest echelon with Ferguson, Guardiola, Clough, Paisley and Busby.

But deciding the timing and the manner of your exit is one of the toughest calls for any manager or sportsman.

Klopp got it wrong.

Read Dave Kidd’s take on Klopp’s demise in full here.

Or click here to check out all of Dave Kidd’s articles.

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