2 bizarre years of Klopp, with plenty more to follow?
On the 8th October 2015, Liverpool fans across the globe were gifted with a new found hope-the appointment of Jurgen Klopp.
This decision showed a long-awaited desire and hunger for success from the owners that the fans had been craving and that had been lacking in the previous years under Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers. Klopp was to be the man to restore the faith at Anfield and to take Liverpool back to the top of the European hierarchy.
Fast forward two years and there have been some pretty impressive highs and some crushing lows, but the jury still appears to be out on Klopp. Their journey to the 2015/16 Europa League final seems to sum the two years up rather accurately: from the gritty comeback at Anfield against Borussia Dortmund which was Istanbulesque, to the embarrassing collapse in Basel against Seville.
It is fair to say that trophy wise, Klopp hasn't delivered just yet, however, the Reds will have gained vital experience and learnt crucial lessons from the two final defeats that have occurred under Klopp.
Statistically, Klopp's record at Liverpool appears worse than that of Brendan Rodgers with Rodgers having a higher win percentage than Klopp, but those statistics are taken out of context as Klopp spent 3/4th of a season with a group of players that weren't his own. Klopp was handed the job for rebuilding and progressing the club, so has he been a success in that department?
Since the German took over, Liverpool's games have seen more goals than any other Premier League side, scoring 146 and conceding 94. So, for the neutrals, Klopp's Liverpool have been an absolute dream to watch- with entertainment hardly ever lacking, but for the Liverpool fan's the results are all that matter.
When Klopp took over, Liverpool were in the much-unwanted Europa League and they looked miles away from Europe's top dogs. After two years of hard work and a few additions, Liverpool have inarguably progressed on the field with only 3 defeats against the top 6 during Klopp's tenure shows that Liverpool are closing the gap and are an attacking team to be feared.
Klopp has also guided the Reds back into the Champions League-- further evidence of progress.
Despite all the positives, there are, of course, some damaging negatives. The weak defence and lack of leadership throughout Jurgen Klopp's team is an area of concern that still continues to plague his side.
This flaw, however, can no longer be blamed on previous management as he has had four transfer windows to solve these issues and they still remain and continue to grow- signings should have been made, but for whatever reasons Liverpool remain poor at the back and are missing a leader.
Perhaps the blame for lack of investment may not be entirely on Klopp, with owners Fenway Sports Group averaging a net spend of £23m per season since their takeover in 2010. In comparison with rivals, Liverpool are way off, however, it is partly Klopp's way of working as he prefers to put work in on the training ground rather than spend large sums of money. So the blame goes both ways.
As it stands the current perceived crisis at Liverpool is really not that much of a disaster, they have come a long way since Klopp took over and there is still a fair distance to go. And to be just 6 points off the top after 7 games is not bad going at all.
With a vital clash against local rivals Manchester United just around the corner, Klopp has a big opportunity to reestablish the Kop's faith and show that he is the right man to continue the progress at Liverpool and take them on to bigger and better things.
However, it will not be a simple task and if Liverpool's recent battles with United are anything to go by then the Reds will be in for a tough ride with only one win in the last five meetings.
Many expected Klopp to come in and bring instant success, however that is incredibly unrealistic. You only have to look at his time at Dortmund to see that success takes time, but for now, Liverpool is progressing bit by bit and Liverpool fans just have to sit back and support the team and hopefully with time that the long-anticipated success will come.