Jurgen Klopp has been left stunned – after being told to go back to school to learn how to be a manager.
And he is on the brink of guiding the Reds to a top-four finish after a year from hell.
Yet he has been ordered to renew his coaching licence by UEFA.
Managers must undergo a refresher course every three years – but Klopp insists he has learned more this season than at any time in his life.
He said: “Managers and coaches have a licence for what we are doing and from time to time we need to renew it.
“It is always quite difficult to try and find time to do that.
“Coaches or managers who are in a job shouldn’t get asked to renew their licence because no day is like the day before.
“There are always new problems, always something else, but that is just the job.”
It has been a harrowing 12 months for Klopp, both personally and professionally.
He was unable to attend the funeral of his mother, Elisabeth, in January due to travel restrictions.
And Liverpool’s title defence crumbled after an injury crisis stripped him of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Klopp’s side have dug deep however and managed to build a nine-game unbeaten run that has lifted them into fourth.
And if they beat Crystal Palace at Anfield they will once again be part of Europe’s elite.
Klopp said: “Was it the most difficult year? Yes. It was the most difficult year of my life.
“I never thought I would have to deal with the pandemic – not me personally but all of us. I found that really difficult to deal with at times, to be honest.
“What did I learn? That sleep is overestimated! Am I a better manager? Better, I am not sure, but definitely much more experienced.
“We make so many experiences we couldn’t have in any other years. There will be a time when I appreciate that.
“But it will be in the future, not at the moment.”
Liverpool are not expected to splash the cash in the transfer market – even if they qualify for the Champions League.
Klopp insists he still believes in the players who have served him so well.
Klopp said: “Whatever we do or not do in the next transfer window, we will not use it as any kind of excuse. We did what we did in the past. When there was money we spent it and when there was no money we didn’t spend it.
“I am happy with my squad, very, very happy. Could this squad still improve? Yes, like each squad could.
“It that affordable? I don’t know. Is that necessary? I don’t know.
“There is a moment in pre-season when I hope we will have a team together that will go through the season and we are able to be a really uncomfortable opponent – that is the most important thing.
“We might not be the best team in the world at the start of the season. But we want to be again the team no one wants to play against – and I think that is possible.
“I really think it is my responsibility to improve the team without signings as well, so the season is not like this when it is not in your hands.
“We have all high-quality players, we have experience, and we have players in the best age and we have youth and that is good.
“Whatever other clubs will be doing is not going to influence my business.”