If there’s one thing more than anything Jurgen Klopp brought to Anfield with him last year it was a belief and atmosphere that Anfield hadn’t seen in a while. Especially in Europe, Anfield atmospheres reached a level they had not reached since the days of Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool side running riot in Europe.
In an age of online cynicism and people being deliberately negative in the hope of being proved right, Klopp came in and made everyone temporarily ditch their individual agendas and he turned everyone into ‘believers’ to quote the man himself.
A couple of lost finals, us not spending £150m on all of Borussia Dortmund’s stars and us not nailing Alberto Moreno to a cross post-Sevilla has resulted in the online cynicism returning prior to this season. Especially under Rodgers and at times under Klopp, this cynicism resulted in a toxic atmosphere at Anfield. There are various factors that contribute to the lack of atmosphere these days (ticket prices, limited availability etc), however even with all these factors Anfield proved last year it can still make a racket when riled.
However in the past couple of years in the seats around me it seems like at times fans were desperate for a certain player to make a mistake in order to be proved right and to score points.
That player depends on the individual. Mignolet, Skrtel, Moreno, Henderson, Sakho and Benteke to name a few have come under massive scrutiny in recent years and deservedly so in most cases. Those who sit around me would blame Simon Mignolet for bad weather and delays in public transport if they could. The great thing about when Klopp came in was for a short while those agendas were ditched and Anfield became loud and intimidating again.
It seems Liverpool’s dealings this season have caused the doom & gloom and cynicism to return to the fan base. Admittedly, it has been frustrating watching our rivals signing big name players like Mkhitaryian, Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Gundogan, Goetze etc while we haggle for a Leicester teenager.
When we’re doing this we have to remember the reason we were all so excited when Klopp came in. This is what he does. He buys kids and nurtures them into big names. If you look at some of the names I’ve listed, 3 of them were relatively unknown signings by Klopp for Borussia Dortmund.
Sadly Liverpool don’t have the financial means to go and buy a player for 100m and pay the wages you’d imagine Man Utd are to prize Mkhitaryan away from Champions League football. If you aren’t in the Champions League, you have two options; pay mega wages as we see Utd doing, or discover unearth gems and get the best of the level below Champions League level and develop them as we have tried to do for the past few years.
The odd gem has been found in Coutinho and Can and we have occasionally recruited and developed from those banging on the doors of Europe’s elite in Firmino and Suarez. What we have in Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world at finding these young talents that a club in LFC’s situation needs to do.
I’d love to see us sign Pogba and Ibrahimovic. At the minute it’s simply not viable. We need to be smart in our recruitment and we have the man for that.
To give ourselves the best chance next year we need to back the man and his decisions, ditch any agendas on individuals and simply turn up and support. I’ve no doubt Mignolet and Moreno will test us all on that but a loud rendition of Fields of Anfield Road will certainly do a lot more than a loud rendition of ‘your fucking shite you Moreno’ (even though he is).
With a monster of a new stand up and Klopp predicting us fighting for every trophy, it promises to be a great year for us. Win or lose, we certainly won’t be bored.
Written by Jack Mitchell (@jm97lfc)