Roberto De Zerbi has told his squad that they’re only playing at 60% of their potential and it’s a sentiment the players are fully behind, according to Adam Lallana.
“I've always been obsessed with following what I'm told by managers – it's how I’ve been brought up,” the midfielder said. “It was the same with Mauricio [Pochettino] at Southampton – I fell in love with him. And it’s the same with Jurgen [Klopp] and there's something about Roberto that is very similar in terms of how demanding he is.
“I like it how he always wants more for you. He's never settled for anything. After the performance against Liverpool, he said to me, “we’re at 60%” So I'm straightaway like, “oh, alright!”
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“You can't get ahead of yourself but as long as the balance is right I think that's the right mentality to have.”
The former Liverpool and England midfielder can’t get enough of working with De Zerbi.
“He is the most hands-on coach I've ever worked with on the training pitch. He's in the centre, orchestrating, becoming the playmaker, becoming the centre-half, becoming the keeper at times – showing us the finer details of what he wants.
“Italian coaches are always very tactically organised, so he brings that but without being typically Italian. That's why I think that the Premier League fits him so well because he loves our application and the British kind of mentality.
“We want to work, we want to run and with his kind of tactical insight I think it's a special combination.
“I always hear him say, “I love it how I tell you guys one thing and then you do it straightaway.” He doesn't need to repeat himself and I can understand that because the group we've got listen, learn and then do it.”