Jurgen Klopp has pulled off his greatest trick so far
- Jürgen Klopp has guided Liverpool to their first Premier League title in three decades.
- But it is the manner in which he has done so that makes it his greatest achievement.
Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Waiting for Godot’ depicts the interaction between two men, Vladimir and Estragon while they wait for Godot, who never arrives. Not only is this play considered to be one of the most influential dramas of the 20th century, over the years, it has also become synonymous with waiting for someone or something that will never come to pass.
Liverpool’s 30-year long wait for Premier League success is one of the best examples of this proverbial never-ending wait exemplified by the drama.
After dominating English football in the 70s and the 80s, the Reds had to wait for three decades to get their hands on the coveted title, but at last, the wait is finally over and all the credit for their success goes to their manager, Jurgen Klopp.
The Jurgen Klopp effect
After winning consecutive Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund and leading them to the UEFA Champions League final, Jurgen Klopp established himself as one of the most sought after managers in the game.
As the world watched with bated breath to find out his next move, the charismatic manager chose to take over the reins at Liverpool in 2015. His arrival at Anfield guaranteed two things: Liverpool had acquired one of the best managers in the global game, someone, who was known for building successful squads over time, and that he would get the team to play an entertaining brand of football.
In his first press conference after taking charge of the club, Jurgen Klopp predicted that he would have led the team to at least one title in the next four years.
While most pundits and fans would have called it a long shot at that stage, Jurgen Klopp knew what he was talking about. More importantly, he got the Liverpool players and staff to believe in his vision. Five years on, he has fulfilled the prophecy.
But Liverpool’s journey to Premier League success has not been a bed of roses under Jurgen Klopp. Over the last five years, the 53-year-old has had to make several changes to the squad that he inherited when he first took charge of the club, but his recruitment during this period has been spot on.
The German’s decision to splash the cash on the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker raised a few eyebrows back in the day but in hindsight, it has proved to be a masterstroke.
The arrivals of the Dutchman and the Brazilian have bolstered Liverpool as the duo have played key roles in the Reds’ title charge. But Jurgen Klopp’s success is not based on signing players alone.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, a product of Liverpool’s academy, has been a revelation this season with 3 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League. With a resolute defence and an attack that comprises Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, Klopp’s men turned on the style and established themselves as one of the most exciting teams in Europe.
Klopp has gone beyond past glory
The Reds’ enterprising style of football under Klopp took them to the brink of Premier League glory last season only to be edged by Manchester City by a solitary point. A few months earlier, the team also made it to the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2018 and, had it not been for an early injury to Salah and a brace from Gareth Bale, they would have emerged victorious.
While most other teams would have struggled to cope with the heartache of losing a league and a cup competition in quick succession, Jurgen Klopp and his men managed to use their failures to fuel their future success. And it is this quality that makes them a top-notch side.
In the last two years, Liverpool have managed to right both those wrongs by winning the Champions League and the Premier League in consecutive seasons. But it is the manner in which they have managed to capture their first domestic title in 30 years that has made the world sit up and take notice of their credentials.
The Merseyside team have blown each of their rivals away during the course of the 2019-20 campaign and made the league look like child’s play.
Jurgen Klopp’s greatest achievement is not winning the league with Liverpool, but doing so in a way that commands respect from the club’s greatest rivals. None of the teams in the Premier League can argue that Jurgen Klopp’s men do not deserve to win the league this season. From a rival fan’s point of view as well, it is hard to dislike this team or even find any fault with them.
Jesus Christ is remembered for turning water into wine and Jurgen Klopp will be remembered for the way in which he turned Liverpool into Premier League champions.Published 30 Jun 2020, 01:27 IST