It’s been a year since Jürgen Klopp walked through the Shankly Gates. The ‘Normal One’ has returned the feel good factor at Anfield
First, let me say this is a fan boy homage. If you still want to read, go ahead, have a go. I hope you do.
I’d love to say he’s changed things by sprinkling magic dust but it really is very simple — good communication, good collaboration, good energy and good spirit. He’s an easy character to deal with. There’s no agenda and no ego — that’s not what the guy is about. It is normal dealing with him. Whether you’re a steward in the tunnel at Anfield or the CEO, he’s the same with everyone — Ian Ayre, CEO
It’s never easy for a foreign coach to come to a new country. The football is different. The culture is different. It takes time. But the Premier League seems to be tailor-made for the far from ‘normal’ Jürgen Klopp. The Kop seem like brainwashed teenagers. Rival fans are looking over at Liverpool with envy. The media adores him and the team strikes fear into rivals. No wonder the German has a cult following.
In the last one year, Liverpool have dismantled title winning teams of years past, reached two cup finals, came agonizingly close to glory, lost to relegation strugglers, finished the league at a lowly eighth and now sit just two points shy off the top this time around. For the ‘Normal One’, his first year at Liverpool has been anything but normal. While Jürgen Klopp is yet to taste silverware with Liverpool, his impact has been staggering.
The Klopp Effect
Jürgen Klopp is a winner and that is rubbing off on his team. First, he turned the doubters into believers. Along the way, he has transformed his team to a lethal and cohesive unit. A year since his arrival, the German looks the best piece of footballing business Liverpool have done in years.
The method and madness of his personality connects with the players and fans
In Klopp, the Reds have a manager who has the highest pedigree of tactical knowledge and understanding of the game. Klopp’s attitude and passion towards football is genuine. With Jürgen Klopp, what you see is what you get. The way he talks about creating moments to cherish, football and life is poetic. The German’s man management and motivational skills are as impressive as his charisma and leadership. This has seen his players give him their full effort. Bookmakers have pitched Liverpool as the second favorite to clinch the title this season. What a difference a year makes. No, scratch that. What a difference does Jürgen make!
Liverpool’s entire mentality has been changed in just 12 months, and it’s really all down to one man
For the first time in a decade, Liverpool FC have a firm sense of direction. It was a coup in landing the former Borussia Dortmund chief. Jürgen Klopp has instilled leadership to Liverpool. Their game has an air of authority. Forget the league, no team in Europe will cherish a clash with Klopp’s exciting brigade.
He is a perfectionist and so everyone wants to be like him. You want to give perfection during training and give 100 per cent on the pitch. It is great to see how intense he is on the touchline — Dejan Lovren
This is the Klopp Effect.
Heading into the international break, Jürgen’s team sit just two points behind league leaders, Manchester City. In 2016, no team has ran more, scored more, created chances or terrorized oppositions like Liverpool have. Klopp has vastly improved the squad he inherited from Brendan Rodgers. And his Liverpool are still a work in progress.
If Klopp can plug their leaky defense, then Liverpool can strike the perfect balance. With shrewd summer acquisitions and intense training, there is no doubt that Liverpool can do just that. The potential in Klopp’s team is mouth watering. The tag of the most consistently inconsistent is being shed. It is the Klopp effect I tell you!
Fight, Grit, Determination, Aggression
Liverpool of seasons past were unable to grind it out, kill off games or crawl their way back into contention. The belief was missing. In first leg of the Europa League semifinal against Villarreal, Liverpool lost to a goal in the last minute of the game.
The players and staff were really down and surprised. The moment Jürgen came back in the dressing room he changed everything in five minutes. We could leave the stadium knowing we were going to attack them at Anfield like they had never been attacked before — Pepijn Lijnders, First team coach
The rest as they say, is history.
It’s the kind of impact the big German has brought to the club. And it’s the elusive ingredient of belief and sheer determination that Liverpool searched for. Last week against Swansea it looked like Liverpool had hit a road block. But a resurgent Reds clawed their way back and went home with three points. I couldn’t see Liverpool of the past doing this. There are no longer any doubters.
It is a massive challenge and won’t be without its ups and downs but in terms of did we get the right man for the job? There is absolutely no question. That stands out a mile.
Jürgen Klopp’s contribution has been immense to the club, his players and the Kop. Yes, his team might have finished eighth last season and frankly it’s disappointing for a club of Liverpool’s stature. But the German worked with a squad he inherited from his predecessor — a squad that was under performing and lacked an identity. Upon his arrival he has galvanized the team. Taking them to two cup finals and along the way some scintillating performances have turned the doubters into believers. To do so with a team who were new to his training and without a preseason is a tremendous achievement. The next time they reach a final, many will be backing the Reds for glory.
It’s only this summer that Klopp has had the chance to hold a first preseason training and transfer window. Defensively they are still the same old Liverpool. But that might just turn the corner this season. He has bought in two highly experienced centre-backs for just £4.5 million. While Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan are not exactly Mats Hummels or Jerome Boateng, they are shrewd and experienced buys. Liverpool will stand to benefit. Sadio Mane and co and thriving. Klopp’s masterstroke in playing James Milner at left back is being hailed. Yet Klopp was all praise for the much criticized Alberto Moreno who was dropped after an horror show against Arsenal in the season opener.
To be honest, one of the best players in training in the last two weeks has been Alberto Moreno. He took being left out positively.
It is this man management which makes him one of the most endearing and effective coaches in modern football.
Right now, Klopp’s team are playing exactly how he wants — press and harass the opposition. Liverpool are carving out an identity under Klopp. It’s evident on the pitch. The Reds are playing with a smile. And along the way they are playing some exquisite football. These are times to be excited for — if you are a Liverpool fan that is!
It is not just the players who Klopp has educated, he has done the same with the fans, urging once again for the famous Anfield atmosphere to be heard more regularly and encouraging his players to celebrate victories with the fans as they do so regularly in Germany.
The magnitude of the ‘Klopp Effect’ is equally striking off the pitch. Whether it’s the press conference, being interviewed by kids or his charming debut on Monday Night Football has got Kopites, rival fans and media listening to every word he says. Jürgen Klopp is box office draw. The German is full of passion and that’s what your players and fans want to see. Klopp is a father figure and a best friend to his players. He might scream at you during the match but he’s surely got your back and that’s something his players from Mainz and Dortmund would testify. Behind all that big ‘Klopp hugs’ and smile is an ambitious man. But make no mistake, he is ruthless when the time demands it — look at the whole Mamadou Sakho saga
The start to the season has been highly encouraging. Liverpool should do well and it will be a disappointment if they finish outside the top four. In time, the defense should get sorted. This international break gives him that opportunity. Liverpool’s first choice back four and new signing Loris Karius remains at Melwood giving Klopp plenty of time to tune them. This season, Klopp has the time in training to gel his team together.
The degree of cohesion with which Liverpool exhibits is outstanding. Each player knows their role and are ready to anticipate the next phase of play
Today, a long lost feel good factor fills Anfield. Klopp has transformed the air of gloom and doom into hope and belief. He has the backing of his club, players, and fans in equal measure. Jürgen Klopp is brewing something special at Anfield. If 12 months are anything to go by, then Jürgen Klopp has proven he is the perfect fit for Liverpool FC. He has laid the foundation to rebuild the glory days of this great football club.
Bring on Manchester United! Let’s BOOM ‘em!
You’ll Never Walk Alone