5 years ago Liverpool was far behind from the top end of the Premier League table. Nobody would have expected them to turn around the tables, that too in a remarkable manner. But the fans believed and so did the man, Jurgen Klopp that they could become not only the Champions of England but also the UCL Champions. He has achieved what no other manager has achieved with Liverpool. October 2020 marked five years since Jurgen Klopp was appointed manager of Liverpool. It has been an emotional journey for the fans, the players of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, and one to remember for ages.
The Success Story of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp
During a disappointing 2014–15 season, Liverpool finished sixth in the league, and a poor start to the new season followed. Due to this, Brendan Rodgers was sacked in October 2015. This led to the appointment of Klopp as the manager of Liverpool. Klopp knew he had a big task at hand which was left by his predecessor. Initially, he had signed a 3 year deal with Liverpool but later in 2016, he extended his contract to 6 years more. Again in 2019, he signed a contract extension that will keep him in the club until 2024.
Klopp didn’t have the best start at Liverpool as they finished the 2015–16 season in eighth place. They even finished as runners-up in the Football League Cup 2015-16. In 2016, even though they reached their first European final since 2007, they could not win as they went down losing 1-3 to Sevilla in the Europa League final. Klopp’s side finished second in the 2018–19 Premier League, with 97 points which are the most points by a team without winning the title. But people with self-belief and hard work always earn success. And Klopp never stopped believing. He guided the club to successive UEFA Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019, winning the latter by defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 to secure his first and Liverpool’s sixth title in the competition. Having qualified as winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League, Klopp’s side played 2018–19 UEFA Europa League champions and Premier League rivals, Chelsea, in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup. With the scores level after extra-time, Klopp’s side won 5–4 on penalties, giving Klopp his second trophy with the club. On 21 December 2019, he led Liverpool to their first FIFA Club World Cup trophy, with victory over Flamengo in the final, making his team the first English side to win the international treble of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. Liverpool then went on to win the 2019–20 Premier League, winning their first title in thirty years, en route to which his side scored 99 points – the second-highest total in the English top division. Although it took Liverpool almost three years to win their first trophy under Klopp, the improvement was evident. Liverpool’s progress under Klopp has been historical. There have been many factors that have resulted in the success of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
Factors for Jurgen Klopp’s success at Liverpool
Klopp’s Gameplay Tactics
Klopp’s tactics involve the major use of Gegenpressing. Using this, the team after losing possession of the ball immediately attempts to win back possession, rather than falling back to regroup. According to him, a well-executed counter-pressing system can be more effective than any playmaker when it comes to creating chances. Despite Klopp’s pressing tactics resulting in high attacking output, his side was criticized at times for its inability to control games and keep clean sheets. However, Klopp developed his tactics to incorporate more possession-based football and more midfield organization.
A true leader at the helm
The departure of Steven Gerrard in 2015 might have made the fans lose hope as to who the next inspirational leader for the team would be. Just then they found the man, the manager Jurgen Klopp, whose passion and dedication for the team instantly won the hearts of the fans. Klopp has set an example for many others what a true leader should be like.
The Transfer Saga under Jurgen Klopp
From the very first season, Jurgen Klopp started bringing in players matching his style of play. Every decision he makes seems spot on whether it is about transfers or tactics. Just when they were lacking something in the attack, Klopp brought in Mohamed Salah from Roma. This totally transformed the Liverpool attack. The team was tactically set up for Salah so that he could succeed alongside Firmino and Mane up front. The goals meant that they were capable of winning matches and eventually capable of winning trophies. Klopp’s side had been heavily criticized for their leaky defense. Klopp sought to improve this by signing defender Virgil van Dijk for a fee of £75 million, which was a world record transfer fee for a defender. He built a strong defense with Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren, thus improving the defensive issues as well. In this way, he created a team that had a defense as fearsome as the attack. A number of high-profile midfielders were also signed such as Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri among others along with a highly dependable goalkeeper in Alisson.
Great Relationship with the Fans
This is another major aspect which is important for the club’s performance on the field. Klopp shares a very special bond with the Liverpool fans, the Kopites. With his joyous celebrations, he has been able to match the energy in the stands. He instantly connects with the crowd of Liverpool supporters. This has really motivated the team to do well in the field.
The Klopp Legacy continues
What was once a club going through a crisis and eventual downfall, has reached the pinnacle of success and glory thanks to Klopp. Now they have become a dominating force in England as well as in Europe. Under Klopp, they continue to climb the ladder of success and break more and more records. Few can emulate what Klopp has done for the Merseyside club. And that’s why he is rightfully regarded as one of the best managers in the world.
What’s your opinion about Jurgen Klopp as the manager of Liverpool? Let us know in the comment section below.