It’s been exactly 5 years since Jürgen Klopp took over the helm as Liverpool Fc Manager (replacing the previous incumbent Brendan Rodgers).
Prior to Klopp’s appointment, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) looked jaded and had no sense of direction under Rodgers.
In an extremely disappointing 2014-15 Season, the Reds ended the season with a humiliating 6–1 loss to Stoke City F.C. but, Rodgers still received the backing of FSG (Fenway Sports Group).
However during the 2015-16 Season, Rodgers was sacked following the Everton game as the Reds won just once in 9 games and were in 10th position (after 8 matches) in the Premier League Table.
Some of the prominent Rodgers’ signings for the Reds were: Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, James Milner and so on.
Before becoming the Reds manager, Klopp built a stellar career on:
- Working with clubs having small or shoe-string budgets
- Raise relatively unknown players and through Klopp’s training methods, make them into World Class Players
- Against the likes of perennial German Bundesliga Champions, win back-to-back German Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund
Klopp is a strong advocate of Gegenpressing. This a tactic employed by him in which the team rather than regrouping after losing possession of the ball, instead tries to quickly win back the ball through the pressure built.
Finally, on 08 October 2015, Klopp agreed to become the Reds manager. At that time, it felt instantly like a match made in heaven. “Klopp for Kop”.
Besides proclaiming himself as “The Normal one”; Klopp spoke about the reasons why he cut short his sabbatical and how he felt about becoming the Reds manager.
Perhaps (at that time) it might sound very outrageous for an underachieving club but the German Tactician stated his 2 main intentions: Change the mentality from “Doubters to Believers” and to deliver the title within 4 years.
Without the Transfer Window or sufficient time to implement his gegenpressing, Klopp inherited a disjointed Reds squad who were mainly misfits and underutilised players.
Around October 2015, Klopp began his managerial debut with a 0–0 away draw with Tottenham Hotspur. From then on as some says “…the rest is history”.
The heartbreaking losses of English League Cup 2015-16 Finals to Manchester City F.C, Europa League 2015-16 Finals to Sevilla FC and Champions League 2017-18 Finals to Real Madrid C.F., were some of the catalyst of the Reds renaissance under the charismatic German coach.
Over the course of 5 years, Klopp rebuilt the Reds to the successful team that it is today. At one point, the Reds became the reigning European, World and English Champions at the same time (until FC Bayern Munich won the Champions League 2019-20 Title).
The money earned from Coutinho’s transfer to FC Barcelona (January 2018), helped to bring in Virgil Van Dijk. Later on further reinforcements like Andrew Robertson, Alisson Becker, Naby Keïta, Fabinho and others joined the club. However, the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold from the youth academy may perhaps be someday considered as one of Klopp’s greatest masterstroke.
Klopp is renowned for his “bear” hugging and building close knit relationship with his team. This helps the team to develop a stronger bond and have the spirit to fight for Klopp.
Yet one of Klopp’s greatest strengths is his adaptability and flexibility to change his tactical approach. Over the years with the Reds, Klopp refined his “Gegenpressing” Tactics to a more possession based football with “workhorse” like midfield organisation.
Signing Thiago Alcântara was also a sign of Klopp’s unrelenting pursuit to perfect his tactical approach. Thiago provides the unpredictability factor for the Reds and the creativity spark in the midfield.
Needless to say, FSG rightly deserves the credit in hiring Klopp and for the smart recruitments under Klopp’s watch.
FSG (of all) will feel the immense satisfaction in the decision to hire Klopp.
Verdict: Klopp’s contract runs until the summer of 2024.
As such, there will always be rumours of Klopp taking 1 year sabbatical (at the completion of his Reds contract) or leave the Reds for the only one job: German National Team Head Coach.
By losing 7-2 to unfancied hosts Aston Villa, the Reds suffered the worst defeat in the Premier League Era. This defeat amongst few may be regarded as few blemishes of the illustrious Reds managerial career of Klopp.
Regardless, whenever Klopp decides to call it a day; no one especially connected to the club will ever question Klopp’s devotion and commitment towards the Reds.
As even in 5 Years under Klopp’s guidance, the Reds became:
- The European Champions (2018-19 Season) (First time since 2004-05 Season)
- The FIFA Club World Champions (2019) (First time ever in Club’s History)
- The First British Club to win the Continental Treble (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup)
- Premier League Champions (2019-20 Season) (First time since 1989-90 Season)
Besides being “a Man of his word”, Klopp has rightfully earned his name as a Legendary Reds Coach like Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.