Jurgen Klopp for the KopAfter three years, Brendan Rodgers is out. The Reds started the season brightly after what was a dismal season last time around but have only managed to win 3 games in all competitions despite two draws and two wins in the last four competitive games.The embarrassing loss to Manchester United and the hapless draw to Everton meant that a majority of Liverpool fans wanted the former Swansea boss gone and the name that echoed among the fans was that of former Borussia Dortmund manager – Jurgen Klopp.According to former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann, Klopp would fit in perfectly at Liverpool, as reported by Liverpool Echo. Hamann being a German should know a lot about German football and managers, and he is very familiar with Liverpool as well. Therefore, it is very difficult to question his judgment.With Rodgers already out of sight, here’s why Jurgen Klopp is a good option for Liverpool right now.
#1 Ability to build a winning team
Like Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund was once a team capable of competing for titles year in, year out. The German club were the Champions League winners in 1997 and Bundesliga winners in 2002, but the club lost its way somewhere down the line and finished 13th at the end of the 2007/08 season.
The only recognizable names from the squad Klopp inherited in 2008 are that of Roman Weidenfeller, Sebastian Kehl, Mats Hummels (on loan) and Jakub Blaszczykowski. But none of these players were the stars they are today.
When Klopp took over, Dortmund were neither financially powerful like they are now nor did they possess a squad with world class players. Klopp worked with a group of young talented players and even when some of the players he nurtured moved to other clubs, he found other players to replace them for relatively low transfer fees. Replacing outgoing players is something which Liverpool have struggled to do and it is evident from the cases of Luis Suarez or Xabi Alonso.
The table below shows the transfer fees paid by Dortmund for some of the players who turned into world beaters under Klopp and the age at which the club signed them.
Age at the time of transfer
|TOTAL||£26.29m||Average Age: 21|
The combined fee of these eight players comes out to be £26.29m and that fee is nearly £6m less than the fee Liverpool paid for Christian Benteke in the summer.
The table below explains Klopp’s spending with Dortmund during his 7-year spell with Dortmund and it is quite amazing that he built a title-winning squad by spending so little. In fact ,prior to his last season with the club, his net expenditure during a season was never more than £4m. The most he spent during a transfer window was in his last season when he used £45.64m, which is still less than what Liverpool spent (£48.9m) during Brendan Rodgers’ first season in charge (2012/13).
Income from sales
The fact that Klopp is able to work on limited funds and recruit players with immense abilities is amazing. He has proved that spending doesn’t guarantee success, but building a squad carefully does and Liverpool’s ridiculous spending under Rodgers with no success further cements that fact.
Liverpool’s owners are shrewd businessmen and are clearly looking at making profits after spending so much on the club already. With someone like Klopp in charge, they can definitely cut down on transfer expenditure.
Source for transfer information: TransferMarkt
#2 Nurturing young and senior players into stars
Klopp transformed relatively unknown prodigies into the stars of today. Lewandowski, Subotic, Hummels, Kagawa, Bender, Gotze and Gundogan are players very few people would have heard of five or six years ago. These names are now constantly in the transfer news and linked with top clubs across Europe.
In my opinion, this is one of the biggest reasons why Liverpool hiring the German is a good decision.
Liverpool have a very young squad at present. The club signed young players with immense potential after the current owners FSG took over and these young players need to realize their potential if the club has to move forward.
Players like Philippe Coutinho (23), Roberto Firmino (23), Lazar Markovic (21), Joe Gomez (18), Alberto Moreno (23), Emre Can (21), Divock Origi (20), Danny Ings (23), Jordon Ibe (19), Jordan Rossiter (18) and Tiago Ilori (22) are all still very young and highly rated. Some of these players are yet to show what they are capable of while some others still have plenty of room for improvement despite some good showings for the club.
Liverpool have spent a lot of money on these players and the club will be desperate to see these players succeed in the club’s colours and for that it needs a man who is capable of doing the same.
Klopp’s ability to improve the performance of players is also applicable in case of many senior players. Players like Weidenfeller, Piszczek and Blaszczykowski were just average players when they met Klopp, but later became integral members of the team that won numerous honours during his tenure.
Weidenfeller was with Dortmund from 2002, but the German never made it to the German national team. However, after a few good seasons with Dortmund, he got picked for the national team in 2013 at the age of 33.
Current Liverpool players like Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Mamadou Sakho – who are all senior players at the moment – can also benefit a lot under Klopp.
#3 Klopp can attract big players to the club
Liverpool’s prolonged absence from the Champions League and their underwhelming performances have meant that the club now finds it difficult to attract top players. The Merseyside club has missed out on a number of players over the past few transfer windows.
Players such as Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Willian and Mohamed Salah (both Chelsea), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Sevilla) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund) were all targeted during Brendan Rodgers’ tenure. But they all made their way to other clubs, even if they weren’t in the Champions League.
Klopp is a manager who is renowned for his man-management skills. His relationship with players and his ability to get the best out of them is well known throughout Europe.
With such a man in charge and, given his resume (which is much bigger than a promotion trophy with Swansea), Liverpool could finally sign top players for the same amount they have recently splashed on unconvincing signings like Adam Lallana or Dejan Lovren.
#4 Performance against big teams
One of the major issues for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers were the club’s performances against the top clubs. If Liverpool want to make the top 4, at the very least, then they definitely need to improve on their showings against the top clubs.
Under Rodgers, Liverpool never beat Chelsea in eight attempts. They are yet to beat a Manchester United squad without David Moyes in charge. They have just one win over Arsenal in eight games. The list goes on.
Klopp has shown that he is able to do well against the big clubs. He has beaten a very strong Bayern Munich numerous times during his time with Dortmund, even pipping them to the title on more than one occasion. Most of his defeats against the Bavarians were during his initial years with Dortmund.
He has played Real Madrid six times and has beaten them thrice and lost twice. His record against Arsenal, a team Liverpool have a poor record against in recent years, is also pretty good. Liverpool is in desperate need to up their game against the top sides and Klopp is a man who is more than capable of doing so.
#5 Winning mentality and passion
Following Liverpool’s defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, as a Liverpool fan what irked me more than the defeat was the manner of the defeat. United were struggling to score goals against the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle, and Liverpool doubled the opposition’s goal tally for the season in one game.
The Anfield club went into the derby with a defeatist attitude and were playing for a draw right from kickoff. They were terrible to watch going forward. It was only after United scored that Liverpool started to play better, but eventually it was too late. Such performances against the biggest rivals cannot be entertained.
Klopp is a manager with immense passion and his animated behaviour on the touchline has won him many admirers. Even in the most dire situations he won’t let his team go down without a fight. A perfect example of this was the second leg of the quarter-final of the Champions League in 2013/14.
Dortmund were three goals down after the first leg against Real Madrid, but scored two in the return leg and would have upset the eventual winners if it wasn’t for Iker Casillas. All of this despite missing many key players through injury.
Even if Liverpool lose, the fans will back the manager if he can put up a fight and Klopp is a fighter.
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool is a match made in heaven. The Red fans are very passionate and vocal like the Dortmund fans and both clubs have the same anthem. Now that Brendan Rodgers is sacked, Klopp is the man for Liverpool.
Update: This slideshow was updated on 11 October after Klopp was confirmed as Liverpool boss.