Let me start with a few thoughts from some Liverpool legends.
“I’m sure, as I said this morning, he is going to work as hard as anyone else, and if everybody works together then, eh, it’s no rocket science, if everybody works together there is every chance of watching them make themselves a success.”
Kenny Dalglish, after hearing Klopp talk as a Liverpool manager for the very first time;
“Klopp is facing a harder task to revive Liverpool’s fortunes than any man since Bill Shankly arrived in 1959 because he has not inherited a world-class player; in modern times, every change in the dugout has been triggered by the squad not being good enough. Yet whether it was Graeme Souness or Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier or Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish or Brendan Rodgers, there were always a handful of players of the highest calibre — Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard or Luis Suarez — waiting for them. The new man doesn’t have that bonus. Yes, there are some very good players — Daniel Sturridge, when he is fit, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson are excellent — but you need much more than that to get to the top. Trouble is, Liverpool are finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace. Geography is a problem now, with the best foreign players increasingly drawn to London, and so too are wages. Fenway Sports Group will pay big transfer fees but a true indication of where a club finishes is gauged by the wages they pay”
“It is all down to Klopp. When I am at Liverpool games now, I find myself watching him as much as the action. I love the way he urges his players on, I love how he gives the crowd energy, acting like a cheerleader and punching the air when a strong tackle is made. I’d love to have played for him.
There was no doubt Liverpool got themselves a special character and manager, as his CV proved. The challenge was whether he could be a special Liverpool manager. That is how things are starting to look. He is the perfect fit for the club, he has engaged the passion and emotion of the fan base and he has been responsible for changing the mood in the stadium. He knows what to say and exactly when to say it. Take his team-talk at half-time. James Milner explained how he talked about our experience of winning in Istanbul in 2005; Divock Origi said that he urged the players to make memories to ‘tell their grandchildren’. Quite simply, he gets what Liverpool is about“.
John Barnes believes Klopp’s new long-term contract at Anfield is something of an irrelevance because everything will depend on what success he can achieve.
“The thing is, it won’t be a long term contract if he finishes 15th! He understands that, we all understand that. A contract doesn’t really mean anything these days. But it’s good to see that he’s committed to the club. (Liverpool Echo: July 28, 2016)
Jürgen Klopp is very fond of signing highly versatile players. Players who can be used in different positions on the pitch. He has decided to keep James Milner because of his versatility as a player. It seems like he is willing to sell Lucas Leiva now, who he has already made into a more versatile player than he used to be. Who ever thought of Lucas as a centre back option? Well, Klopp did. As a player, Klopp started out as a striker, but found out he wasn’t a very good striker. He then became a centre back instead. He is tall, he could head the ball and clear away crosses coming into the box, but as a striker it was a problem that his left foot was only a foot to stand on, and not to kick a ball with. He turned out to be a much better central defender than he ever was as a striker.
Now, new additions to the squad like Sadio Mané, Gini Wijnaldum, Ragnar Klavan, and Joël Matip are versatile players able to fill roles in different positions. Jürgen Klopp also has players like Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho, and Joe Gomez from before.
In Borussia Dortmund, Klopp would apply different tactical options and team set-ups depending on the opposition team. Next season we will certainly watch Liverpool doing the same. Jürgen Klopp is fond of making use of two players up front at times (a striker and a more versatile forward), but can also make use of just one striker up front, with three attacking midfielders behind him. There are many players able to fill such roles in the squad now. An option is also to play three central defenders and two wing backs, one central midfielder, three attacking midfielders (two in winger roles), and one proper striker. 5-4-1 wing back system. Another likely option is a simple 4-5-1 formation, very often used last season. Then there is the 4-4-2 option in which you have two full backs, to centre backs, one defensive midfielder, one versatile central midfielder, two wingers, one forward in the typical Dalglish / Beardley role, and a proper striker up front. All of these formations have been used by Jürgen Klopp in Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund. Jürgen Klopp’s tactical sense is about much more than Gegenpressing. He knows plenty of useful formations, too, and has made use of plenty in the German Bundesliga with his two previous clubs there. His new signings really suggests this is something he will try out with Liverpool next season.
LFCONLINE.com writer Forzared makes a bold claim (July 28, 2016): “Make No Mistake, Klopp is Going for Title”
Jürgen Klopp has somehow confirmed this as he rubbished suggestions of Liverpool heading into another transition season, talking to This Is Anfield journalist Jack Lusby on July 29, 2016.
In Klopp’s own words:
“I am happy with my team now, and all I can say is we will be a challenger, we will fight for everything, for every cup and what’ll happen in the end we will see. Certainly at the moment we should not look for excuses and say things like ‘I need another year’ or things like that. We will try everything 100 percent and see what happens. We built this team only to be successful, not one where we say we will have to wait.”
Written by @magneleokarlsen