Chris Wilder says that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is one of the Premier League managers that has particularly impressed him.
While the Sheffield United chief refers to Klopp as an “innovator in football”, it is the German’s off-field demeanour that stood out.
The two sides met at Bramall Lane a few weeks ago. The Reds eventually won a close encounter 1-0 when Dean Henderson allowed a speculative Georginio Wijnaldum shot through his legs.
As the Telegraph reports, the Blades tried to present Klopp with a bottle of champagne before the match. This was in honour of the 52-year-old winning the Fifa men’s coach of the year award the previous week.
Yet Klopp refused the gift, instead preferring to sit down with Wilder in his office after the game and have a drink.
Why Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp stood out
Wilder liked this gesture, as he continues to discover what managing in the top flight of English football is like.
United have not played at this level for 12 years. As a coach this season is Wilder’s first experience of it, working his way up from non-league management to the big time via five promotions with several different teams.
The 52-year-old says things haven’t really changed, although occasionally it will hit him. And it’s always nice to have a discussion with giants of the game, such as Klopp.
“Jurgen popped in after the game, which was refreshing; it’s an amazing league to be in but that’s a little thing that has slightly disappointed me because that doesn’t seem to be a given now,” Wilder told Sky Sports. “It was really interesting to hear about their recovery and their preparation.
“Having a manager working at a top world club in the office was brilliant. At the end of the day, there are two groups of players, two groups of staff. We’re trying to win, they’re trying to win – let’s have a beer afterwards and chat about the game.”