Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

Robert Huth: Klopp managing Germany is inevitable

24 May | news | BY Betway Insider | MIN READ TIME |
Robert Huth: Klopp managing Germany is inevitable
Source: Alamy Stock Photo

In our exclusive interview, the former Germany defender gives his thoughts on his former clubs, and looks ahead to the Champions League final.

Visit Betway’s football betting page.

What went wrong for Bayern this year with their failure to win the Bundesliga?

I think it’s fair to say you expect Bayern to challenge for the title, but I think Leverkusen were just too good. They haven’t stopped. You can sort of be critical of the bigger clubs for being off par but sometimes you’re just going to have to hand it to the opposition.

To do it for not just for six months but for twelve months or 18 months really since he’s taken over is fantastic. So you have just got to take your hat off and sometimes admit that you just get beaten by the better team.

Bayern Munich are obviously used to being the best and the papers love making a big story out of it, but Leverkusen have just been stronger and more consistent. You’ve seen it when they played against Bayern. They played well really and they’re beating them comfortably.

So as surprising as it is that Leverkusen have done what they’ve done, nonetheless that’s been some achievement really for them to go through a season like that.

What do you put the success of Leverkusen down to this season? How do you think they will do next season – can they win it again?

It’s a little bit like with Leicester. I know all about that story. I’ve got a different opinion now because when you’re up there and you have been a bit of an underdog, you get into the mindset of the player. You want to be up there.

Sometimes these stories do happen where they just get that momentum from somewhere – that’s not by luck. They are a well oiled-machine. You don’t do what they’ve done by luck or by other teams being slightly worse. So as the season went on, they’ve just gone from strength to strength. 

They also do not know when they’re beaten. With two minutes to go – just don’t turn your phone off, because they’ve turned it around! It is an unbreakable spirit they have. It comes from trust and from coaching.

Are you surprised Alonso turned down the Liverpool manager role – can they repeat the success next year?

I’ve got to be honest, yes, I was surprised. Klopp has been incredible, maybe he didn’t want to follow him. It’s a big decision. Him being an ex-player, it looked nailed on. I like what he said and he is only young. These opportunities don’t come too often. It’s a hell of a job to turn down. 

Obviously once you have such a big success other clubs come knocking. We’ve seen it. With Alonso, he’s confirmed he’s going to stay, which is great news. But players are being looked at differently now. They’re Bundesliga champions. Bayern might be looking. Historically they always take the best players off their rivals, and managers as well.

If they can keep the squad together and add a couple, they can go again – why not? It was not a fluke, by no means was this lucky.  

When I hear Alonso talk, I think he sounds driven. He sounds exactly like he knows what he’s doing – he sounds like Ancelotti and Pep. That sort of top manager. It’s the flat line, it’s a great trait to have. He knows what it takes.  

Do you think Borussia Dortmund can beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final?

I try to be positive, but it is very difficult to bet against Real, isn’t it? They have changed the way they’ve played a little bit, but in the final – it’s an almighty task. If I was to put any money on the team to win, it has to be Madrid. They’re big favourites. 

Despite much higher budgets, no English clubs made it to the semifinals in the Champions League or Europa League, vs 3 Bundesliga clubs. Where do you rank Bundesliga vs. other European leagues?

Sometimes we think the Premier League is the be all and end all. In reality there are so many big, fantastic clubs – look at Spain and Germany. The Premier League is a great product, it is watched globally, but if you have been to Germany you know how much German football means to the people. It’s what they live and breathe – the same in Italy, Spain and France.

If it was about the budget, the Premier League clubs should win the Champions League every year. Manchester City should, or Chelsea or Liverpool, maybe Newcastle – crazy budgets. But it’s not always about the money. 

With Bayern reaching the semi-final of the Champions League and Dortmund making the final – how good for German football would it be to win the world’s best domestic competition before hosting the Euros? Will that lift the national team?

I’m not sure how. If you win it, it’s great, but it is forgotten when you link with the national team. Same if you don’t. You compete with 20 other players to play in your own country and it takes the focus away. It’s the start of a new chapter when you go into a tournament. Nobody really cares – it’s a strange business. 

What went wrong at Chelsea this season?

The question should be what went right! It was a bit of a shocker the first half of the season. Nobody could work out what was going on. They’re now getting used to it. They’re in a phase when they need time, even though there’s money being spent. You need to nurture some of these younger players. 

For all the experience of them being bad this season and let’s be honest at times it’s actually been proper, proper rubbishnow they’re at a point where it maybe proves development is working. They’ve performed for three or four months. They are still young, a lot of them.

I expect them to do a lot, lot better next season. They’ve been spoton in the last 10 to 15 games. It’s now over the 90 minutes, not here and there. I think they can look forward to next year, they’ll do better. 

Saliba and Gabriel have been a very successful pairing at the back for Arsenal this season, do you think they are the best centre back pairing in the world?

Saliba and Gabriel have been sensational this season. Are they the best in the world? It’s hard to say – but they’re so great at what they do. They’re fantastic individually, but it’s the team shape that really makes their job so much easier. Having the energy of the likes of Declan Rice in front of you, that really helps. 

Do you expect Jurgen Klopp to one day manage the German national team, or would he be more likely to return to club football in Germany?

I think it’s inevitable that he is going to take over Germany. Everyone loves him, the football he plays is sensational and I think Germany will have the players coming through over the next three or four years that will make him think he can win things.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.