Can Liverpool Football Club expect fortunes to change after trouble shooting one speficic problem or is that only the tip of the iceberg? Lets have a look what the new manager can bring to the table.
Jurgen Klopp! The same man that lit up the Bundesliga with his charisma, passion and character is the man most likely to take over at Anfield. Why Klopp, besides those qualities mentioned above?
At Dortmund, Klopp was lauded for what he brought to the club as an individual but far more for the football they played under him which was regarded as “heavy metal” and bear in mind this was a club that barely survived a financial meltdown and he had to work with a shoestring budget in 2008. He built Borrusia Dortmund around the youth system while he fitted in a style of play which just took off and never looked back as they went on to win the Bundesliga in the 2010/2011 season, the domestic double in 2011/2012 and a Champions League Final appearance in 2013.
What an incredible achievement for a man that bought Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Shinji Kagawa for less then USD5mil!
How did he achieve it? It was his style of play that he demanded from players and squeezing the best out of them week in week out with his man management, which was almost second to none.
Klopp demands high pressing, forcing opponent fullbacks and wingers to channel themselves inwards purposefully making the opponent attacks narrowed, hence the reason why Klopp’s fullbacks are mostly converted from wingers or strikers due to his demand of their athleticism and high technical ability.
Good examples are Lukazc Pisczcek, Kevin Grosskreutz and Erik Durm – all former wingers and strikers transformed into fullbacks due to their ability to attack from deep areas and most times you would find them in the most advanced areas on the pitch.
Klopp prefers a 4-2-3-1 narrowed approach in defending and rightfully he needs a centreback who can read the game well, anticupates and has the capacity to pick out a pass as good as a midfielder whenever the ball is won in tight areas down the centre. Mat Hummels was turned from a defensive midfielder into one of the most classy centrebacks in modern football today.
You have to be absolutely fit to play in Jurgen Klopp’s starting eleven as the style of play he demands requires nothing less. “Gegenpressing” as Klopp calls it, is an aggressive pressing style that requires players to be willing to scratch, bite and kick in order to win the ball back which is suitable to the English game.
The fact that remains to be seen now is that now that Klopp has a war chest to play with at Liverpool compared to Borussia Dortmund, will he give enough emphasis to budding youngsters?
Yes he will due to his school of thought and as well as how he approaches a football match which requires young players that are hungry to succeed and run for 90 minutes on and off the ball.
I have no doubt he will be a favourite among the young ones but on hindsight, will he be able to handle big names? Shinji Kagawa cried when meeting Klopp before he left for Manchester United because such was the relationship between the manager and the player which is rarely found in the world of football today.
Klopp was a father figure before a manager at Borussia Dortmund. He literally knew each and every player’s antics on and off the pitch. He knew how to approach each and every individual to get the best of out of them. He is a man they looked up to and I see him being a players favourite, let alone fans favourite.
It will be fantastic for the Anfield faithful to see their very own talents from the academy rise into world class renowed stars leading The Reds as Steven Gerrard did.
The 2014/2015 Bundesliga season was the greatest test to date for Jurgen Klopp as Dortmund fell from sky high to rock bottom. At some point they were in a relegation battle which was shocking as they were top of the table in the Champions league group stages.
He couldnt get the best out of what he had with injuries all over the place and was questioned about his tactics. But at the end of the season he somehow made it to a Europa League finish.
I personally feel a season like that makes a manager better and makes him a complete package for his next assignment as he had been at the top for a while but he knows what being rock bottom feels like.
Klopp is going to be regarded as one of the best decisions ever made by Liverpool Football Club.
Only time can tell if I am gonna be proven right but this is certainly not the tip of the iceberg but instead a crucial change to the clubs direction.
Stanley Bernard is a former international who is still the only Malaysian to have played in the Indian League (I-league). He is currently a football pundit/analyst with the main broadcasters of the Barclays Premier League and European football in South-East Asia.