Fabian Otte interview: Jurgen Klopp is a ‘Menschenfanger’, says Gladbach coach who worked with Sean Dyche at Burnley

Fabian Otte is sharing reminiscences of his latest expertise working as a goalkeeper coach within the Premier League with Burnley when his face lights up at the reminiscence of 1 explicit change with a well-known compatriot, the Liverpool supervisor Jurgen Klopp.

“He was standing on the halfway line watching us warm-up,” Otte tells Sky Sports. “I think he always does that.” This was in May. It was Burnley’s closing house sport of the season.

“Our quantity three Will Norris was beginning. Maybe Jurgen was watching him. Then he began smiling at me. Obviously, Jurgen Klopp is a large identify, I’ve heard about him, examine him and watched him on tv for a few years. I simply waved again.

“When I got back to the changing room, the kitman said, ‘Jurgen Klopp was just asking about you. He said he read this piece about you and was interested.’ Afterwards, I spoke to him for quite a while and he was such a cool person. It was a very interesting experience.

“This is the Liverpool supervisor. He may have a thousand higher issues to do than examine me however he knew so many particulars.

“This is a very German phrase however when there is somebody folks immediately like as a chief, they name him a Menschenfanger. Literally, it means somebody who catches folks in a very constructive manner, folks simply come in direction of him. It received me pondering.

“If he is interested in me that much, how interested would he be in the staff members who he hires and works with on a daily basis? Instantly, you could imagine following him. This is the trait of a very good leader. It is about knowing the human behind the job.”

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It is a lesson that Otte is studying himself as he appears to be like to grow to be the very best coach that he could be. His file is already spectacular. As nicely as Burnley, he has worked in New Zealand, has a PhD, and now, aged simply 30, he is Borussia Monchengladbach’s goalkeeper coach.

“It is the little differences that I am noticing,” he says of the Bundesliga. “In England, nobody can watch training. In Germany, we have 200 fans, sometimes more, watching every session. Two-hundred people on a Tuesday morning watching us work.

The noise of matchdays has surprised him. “It is so loud you simply get goosebumps.” Bayern Munich came to town. “They are so good.” Bayer Leverkusen too. “Very quick gamers.” And Union Berlin? “Quite much like Burnley with the direct balls and the set items.”

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His time at Turf Moor as an assistant to skilled goalkeeper coach Billy Mercer was a success. “He was an incredible mentor to me.” He was settled within the space with his British girlfriend and anticipating to remain. But Gladbach was a large alternative for Otte.

“There was no plan to go back to Germany so quickly. The Gladbach thing came from nowhere but everyone agreed it was a chance I probably could not turn down. Being in charge of the department, it was just a step up the ladder at a big club at a young age.”

It is a testomony to Burnley that one among their employees may go from an assistant position there, ostensibly working with the U23 goalkeepers, to heading up the goalkeeper division at one of many greatest golf equipment within the Bundesliga. So, what did he study at the membership?

“What I learned is that if you have a clear structure and good leadership at the top – and by that I mean Sean Dyche who puts a lot of the structure in place, the staff around him with Ian Woan, Billy Mercer and Steve Stone – you can make up for so many things.

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“The gamers know precisely what the plan is. The membership is aware of how issues are run. It offers everybody a sense of safety. That confirmed regardless of the membership selecting up solely two factors from the primary seven video games within the Premier League final season. Everyone was so calm.

“I was actually surprised one morning when I walked in. I know that in Germany everyone would be in panic mode. What are we doing wrong? We have to turn every stone around and rethink everything we have been doing because it may be wrong. Those emotions.

“Instead, everybody at Burnley was calm. They mentioned, ‘Every 12 months we undergo a patch of video games the place we do not handle to win. This 12 months it simply occurs to be at the beginning of the season however don’t fret as a result of everybody is aware of what the plan is.’

“That is exactly how it worked out for us. We won some big games at big moments against Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton – dominant opponents. This is because the structure was so clear and the leadership knew exactly what they wanted to do.

“Every participant purchased into the entire and this was larger than any particular person. That is the key at Burnley. It comes from Sean. He doesn’t even must say something, he is such an authority. My solely remorse is that I didn’t get to see the followers, that was my drawback.”

Burnley is seen as one of many Premier League’s extra conventional golf equipment with a extra British core than a lot of their rivals. The appointment of a proficient younger German coach with a PhD and a few progressive concepts might sound incongruous however there was a logic to it.

“I asked Billy about that and he was great about it. He wanted someone who thought differently to him and worked completely differently with the goalkeepers to how he worked with them because he felt that they needed something fresh in the building.”

“I know superficially I might not have seemed a good fit, it might have seemed that Burnley were the opposite to me at first, but everyone there was very open to new ideas.”

Otte had earlier frolicked working at Hoffenheim, among the many extra imaginative golf equipment in European soccer with their use of instruments such because the Helix and the Footbonaut. Their goalkeepers even worked with stroboscopic glasses to enhance their response occasions.

“German clubs are unique because they try to be very innovative in their thinking and their use of technology. We also did psychological diagnostics, studying personality profiles when recruiting. It was a different way of looking at players and how you can develop them.”

In New Zealand, the place he worked because the goalkeeper coach of the ladies’s staff, he shared concepts throughout sports activities, gaining perception from the All Blacks. “Because it is small country, they are open to it. It was unbelievable to speak to rugby and cricket coaches.

“A hockey coach got here to observe my classes. He didn’t query the precise goalkeeper drills, all he questioned was my teaching. Why did you ask that query? Why did you emphasise this phrase and never that phrase? Why was your physique language like this?

“They have a limited number of athletes so they have to think like this and do things a bit differently. The common denominator in my career so far is working with clubs and people who are prepared to challenge the status quo and think outside of the box.

“Loads of coaches I had simply did issues how that they had at all times accomplished them. I at all times wish to take into consideration whether or not we’re doing one thing the suitable manner when different strategies is likely to be extra profitable. How can we enhance our coaching classes?

“It is difficult for a coach to admit that the way they have been doing things for years may not be the most effective way and to change what they do. I would never underestimate experience. But what does science tell us too? Why can’t we merge the two?

“You can’t simply say that a coach is simply a coach. A coach may also be a sports activities scientist or a psychologist or a trainer or a father determine. A coach could be every part. So I wish to problem the established order to encourage different coaches to innovate too.”

Coach schooling is a long-term ardour. In the meantime, he might be getting the goosebumps as soon as once more when he takes his place within the dugout alongside the remainder of the Gladbach teaching employees on Saturday night when Stuttgart are the guests, reside on Sky Sports.

“This is the thing about having a PhD in football. It is a blue-collar sport so being an academic is viewed critically. I would never want to stand up in front of people and say I am Doctor Fabian Otte. I feel like I needed to be a more credible coach first.”

Ultimately, it is all about working with folks. “If I knew anything about cricket or basketball, I would probably enjoy that just as much because I love helping people to learn.” And for Otte, serving to folks study means listening in addition to educating.

“Nick Pope is a good example. I have a good relationship with him and speak to him every other week about goalkeeping and about other stuff. He sends me clips of goalkeepers, sometimes I send him stuff. We have this really good connection and this exchange.

“I most likely study extra from the dialog than he does as a result of he sees issues from his expertise. He has viewpoints that I didn’t contemplate, accounting for issues like followers and pitch circumstances. It is at all times a two-way avenue. You can’t see it as a hierarchy.

“It is all about finding the connection with the player. If you understand the person, you have hit the nail on the head. It sound cheesy but if a player feels open enough to talk to you about how they are feeling you have done the big part of the coaching job.”

Maybe Fabian Otte is a Menschenfanger too.

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