Fröhliche Weihnachten, dear reader. Rather than enchant you with my trademark whimsy, today, I thought it would be fitting to offer up some insight into Christmas Day at chez Klopp. I was stirred from my slumber at 6:00am by the sound of my son Marc playfully bounding up and down the landing. “He’s been, he’s been!” he yelled with all the enthusiasm of Philippe Coutinho chasing a lost ball in the final third. Despite yearning for another hour in bed, my overall feeling is one of relief. I was so sure this was the year I had accidentally dismantled the illusion of Santa Claus by tripping over Marc’s
Despite yearning for another hour in bed, my overall feeling is one of relief. I was so sure this was the year I had accidentally dismantled the illusion of Santa Claus by tripping over Marc’s chello en-route to delivering a stocking to the end of his bed. I cherish these moments as I know I can’t play guardian of fantasies forever – after all, he is 28.
I gingerly woke Ulla with freshly squeezed orange juice and a figgy pudding compote, complimented by a tender peck on the forehead. After discussing the morning broadsheets as a family, we made our way downstairs to take our places by the John Lewis Christmas tree, standing to attention in the drawing room. I was well and truly spoiled this year. Nathanial Clyne bought me the complete works Dostoevsky, Divock Origi took heed of my hints for a Beavertown homebrew kit and Zeljko, my assistant, had the foresight to get me tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie in June. Lucas bought me a Lynx body wash set and a DVD of Norbitt – at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I do hope he kept the receipt.
Our neighbours, the Lallanas arrived fashionably late for lunch, which didn’t matter as my son and I were occupied in deep conversation about existentialism surrounding the VR headset Ulla and I had bought him. Perhaps we’ll take it out the box later. Frau Klopp had prepared a magnificent feast consisting of deconstructed goose served with fennel and a coffee porter jus. Laughter flowed just as smoothly as the craft lager and was only interrupted briefly by my confusion surrounding an English table cracker joke. I initially struggled to find humour in ‘what is the average lifespan of a common garden snail? 10 to 15 years’ before Adam explained that it was a fact, not a joke. Mrs. Lallana still found it hilarious.
After lunch, I suggested putting James Milner’s gift – a stack of blank A4 paper – to use by writing yuletide prose. Adam said we should use it to jot down the rules for a game of ‘Ring of Fire.’ We eventually settled on mapping out our tactics for the Stoke game on Tuesday whilst the girls tucked into the Strictly Christmas special. Following a further hour of debate surrounding the blurred lines between reality and the complexities of the minds’ construct, we eventually turned on Marc’s new VR kit before the sight of some 3D aquatic life caused Adam to remark that it was “doing his nut in.” I think Adam must still be feeling the effects of our Christmas soirée the other night.
As you know, our Senegalese maestro Sadio Mane ensured I came out on top in my battle of wits with Ronald Koeman and that festive proceedings got off to the most welcome of starts at LFC. This year’s function was a stark contrast to the last, when only my intentionally ironic dance moves salvaged spirits in wake of our 3-0 defeat to Watford – there’s a reason that eight of our squad attended this year’s Halloween party dressed as Adam Bogdan! This year, my dance moves were unbashfully intentional as we all lost ourselves in the synth-driven playlist I had pre-prepared for the DJ. The evening oozed of all the vitality you’d expect to see at the launch of a new Gunter Grass novel. The disco ball dazzled as brightly as Roberto Firmino’s teeth whilst Ragnar Klavan’s plied us all with so much Estonian Vana Tallin that by the time the Kraftwerk megamix came on, Emre Can genuinely believed he was leading the charges of the 1984 cultural revolution in Berlin. True to form, James Milner worked the room with advice for the forthcoming financial year as he quaffed mug after mug of decaffeinated evening tea.
As I sit here, royally stuffed from volovants and in-depth tactical analysis with Adam, I am reflecting on how strongly the winds of change have blown for us this past year. Who knows? By Christmas 2017, we could have a fully functional back four and a half-decent goalkeeper? I shan’t get greedy, though, after all, Christmas is a time for appreciating what you already have. I must now echo that sentiment to Georginio Wijnaldum who has just expressed his dismay in our Whatsapp group chat at being given vacuum bags by James Milner.