"Klopp changed everything in a phone call in early July 2018," Liverpool's out-of-bounds coach Thomas Gronnemark said in an interview with TheseFootballTimes. The Danish coach is undoubtedly a leader in the industry in terms of improving the team's ability to play outside the ball.
For a long time, out-of-bounds is a part that has been ignored by people, but Thomas has made people realize the importance of out-of-bounds again. "My goal is to help the team, but I also have a more ambitious goal, which is to promote the development of football through the study of out-of-bounds," Thomas said.
When Thomas first came to the Red Army, many people were puzzled by the club’s decision to hire him, and some even questioned the necessity of hiring an out-of-bounds coach. They doubted whether this special position could really benefit the team. attitude.
Thomas came to Anfield two years ago in the summer when the Reds just lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Coming to the team at this time point, it is easy to suspect that this is the team's sudden illness after losing the finals. But facts have proved that it is absolutely necessary to hire professionals to train out-of-bounds.
Although Liverpool's hiring of Thomas caused considerable criticism for the team and himself, the team's performance on the court gradually silenced those who doubted it. After losing the Champions League, Liverpool took the courage to pay, and the team performed better in all aspects, and soon won the Club World Cup and the Champions League in the new season. Among them, the changes that Thomas brought to the team are visible to the naked eye.
Thomas redefined the out-of-bounds ball and emphasized its role in the entire game. At the same time, the Danish coach is low-key and humble. He did not exaggerate his role and insisted that he was just a screw.
After the end of last season, Liverpool gradually formed a mentality of being surrounded, and this extremely cohesive team opened the Jedi counterattack mode. Under Klopp's rule, the Red Army was transformed from a team that was good at high position pressure but fell repeatedly at critical moments into a team accustomed to victory.
What role did Thomas play in this? Does he think he is also a key figure in the team's transformation? "It's hard to say that the team has improved by 7%, 15% or 21%, but you can look at the website and look at the data analysis. Liverpool's performance is indeed better than before," he said.
Thomas believes in his abilities and believes that he has brought a positive impact to the team, but he did not blindly claim credit. He insisted on using the data to speak, and the figures show that his advanced concept has made the out-of-bounds ball a booster for the Red Army's offense.
Thomas also firmly believes that he believes that the football world's beginning to recognize the importance of out-of-bounds is not a short-term behavior, not to find another quick victory shortcut, but to understand the reason that out-of-bounds training can continuously improve the team's combat effectiveness. For him, whether it is Liverpool where he is currently serving, or the previous Ajax, Central Jutland or other teams, these teams understand that improving out-of-bounds ability can improve the team's field performance in the long run. . "I know that people now call out-of-bounds balls'marginal revenue', but I can only say that they are wrong," he explained.
"If you count the out-of-bounds in the game, if you count the conditions before and after the throw-in, you can find that after a game, the out-of-bounds will take about 15 to 20 minutes. I'll do it. Before Liverpool, only 45.4% of the team was able to control foul balls under pressure.
Out-of-bounds kicks are different from free kicks and penalty kicks. For some talented players, they have a higher success rate in taking free kicks and penalties than others, but Thomas believes that every player can pass. Train to become an excellent out-of-bounds pitcher.
"For example, when I first joined Liverpool in 2018, I found that Robertson had a good foundation. After a short period of training, he grew up to be a top-level out-of-bounds player. He now knows how to find open spaces and know when Quickly, when should you be patient.
"Now Arnold is also a world-class out-of-bounds pitcher, but it took him nearly half a year to reach this level. Arnold has not improved so fast, but I believe that no matter how fast or slow, every player's out-of-bounds ability Making great progress depends on how you guide them."
While working in the Danish team in Jutland, Thomas showed his ability to develop training plans based on actual conditions and help the team maximize its strengths and avoid weaknesses. "In the previous four seasons, China and Jutland have scored 35 goals through extreme long distance fouls, so on average, they can score 8 or 9 such goals every season."
To this day, those teams where Thomas served are still enjoying the out-of-bounds bonus he left behind. However, according to Thomas, he still has many ideas that have not been implemented, and he has just started on the road. Thomas has a book plan, and he plans to pass on his expertise to more and more teams so that more teams can benefit from it.
Up to now, the results of Thomas' work have gradually emerged. So far, eight teams have accepted his guidance. Things are moving in the desired direction, and Thomas’ work is not immeasurable. It is supported by data. How to make reasonable use of out-of-bounds has become one of the hot topics in today's football circle.
There is a Spanish proverb: Rain will not satisfy everyone. There are always people who make irresponsible remarks about Thomas’ work, but Thomas has always believed that he has more expertise in this field than anyone else, especially those who have no brains. "Some critics are from outsiders like Steve Nicole and Andy Gray, and I never pay attention to them," Thomas said.
"Yes, they are all retired players, but these people really don't know anything about out-of-bounds training. What they say is the same as when they played 30 years ago. Whenever like Steve Nicoll or When people like Andy Gray point fingers at my training method, I am actually quite happy because they are advertising me. I don’t think it’s necessary to call them Old Antique for this matter, but fans call it that. they."
Like many doers, Thomas understands what works for him and what can only make him worry. He ignores those meaningless doubts, but works hard to make the current players stronger. Only in this way can the next generation of players truly understand the truth-out-of-bounds is an important part of the game. A weapon that can help the team win. It will take time for people to truly understand the ideas and persistence of Thomas the Danish.