Judging from what goes on among fans online (Facebook and Twitter) it certainly seems as if the club’s new manager Jürgen Klopp can start to feel happy with the fans’ attitude. The fans are very happy with the new Liverpool boss. Chit-chat concerned with the missing link shat shall have to be found in the transfer market will continue until a new left back has been signed. Alberto Moreno is not seen as a left back to be trusted, and now we have seen Brad Smith get sold off to Bournemouth and Jon Flanagan going out on loan to Burnley. There are two signings I see lots of people shouting and chit-chatting about. “A NEW LEFT BACK, DAMNIT! … and yes, maybe also a new defensive midfielder, thank you…”
“Honestly, there can’t be many more left-backs remaining in the world for the Reds to be linked with. But here’s another one. And it’s a French youngster, 19-year-old Lyon defender Jordy Gaspar, who is said to have caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp according to French media outlet Le Progres. In fact, they are claiming the Reds have made an official enquiry. We’ll keep an eye on that.”(Liverpool Echo, August 4, 2016)
Liverpool supporters like myself have seen the Liverpool boss going tougher than ever before this summer. Kolo Touré offloaded on a free transfer, Joe Allen sold, Jordon Ibe sold, Brad Smith sold, Lucas Leiva about to be sold (a good replacement is needed, then after the right player has arrived he will be), a few other fringe players also sold, and last but not least the California and USA pre-season tour shock of Mamadou Sakho being flown back to Liverpool and Melwood soon after the team arrived in Palo Alto for training and team building. This last situation – Sakho’s behaviour – is not yet solved amongst the fans, but I honestly believe Jürgen Klopp did this to him to set a good example. He would punish anyone no matter name and standing among supporters as well as other players. Social meida outlets were hectic for a week, but the whole thing has only led to supporters of the club believing in Klopp more than they did before. Now the fans are only waiting for Mario Balotelli to be found by another club somewhere, and for Lazar Markovic and Christian Benteke to be sold for the right price. Everything is (almost) in perfect order.
The Sakho situation explained by Echo’s James Pearce (August 3, 2016): “The Frenchman was sent home in disgrace after riling Klopp with his attitude on tour. Sakho, who couldn’t feature due to an Achilles injury, was brought along to foster team spirit but was late for the team flight, late for a team meal and failed to turn up for a treatment session. Klopp accused him of showing a lack of respect and told him to continue his rehab in the UK rather than California. Sakho won’t be sold. He will get the chance to make up for his indiscretions but he’s got some making up to do.”
Transfers in. Joël Matip, Marko Grujic, Loris Karius, Sadio Mané, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ragnar Klavan and Alexander Manninger weren’t quite what many Liverpool supporters really wanted. No really big names and some of these plaers deemed to be strange choices made for a variety of positions. In the pre-season friendlies Klavan has proved to be much better than expected, Karius has become the goalkeeper of choice amongst supporters, even though he made a terrible mistake against Wigan but happened to get away with it by his own doing. As I write this, Mané has yet to score, Wijnaldum hasn’t impressed many fans very much, but people believe Klopp knows what he wants from them, and they also are ready to wait for both of them to get settled in together with the rest of the squad and get used the style of football emplyed by Klopp and his coaching staff at Melwood. Ben Woodburn, Sheyi Ojo, Ovie Ejaria, Trent Alexander-Arnold and others have come onto the pitch and impressed us all. We can see a great future in the making here.
In an interview Liverpool Echo’s Neil Jones made with Harry Kewell, the Watford coach was of coure asked the inevitable last question: “What are you making of your former club under Jurgen Klopp?” (August 3, 2016)
Harry Kewell’s answer isn’t exactly short of words: “I’m excited, I won’t lie. I think the club can become a force again with him in charge. I think this is a hugely important time for the club. They have a top manager in place now, and I think that he believes he can bring success. I think back to when I went there in 2003 – everything was about ending that wait for a title. That was 13 years ago, and they’re still waiting. It’s the biggest club in Britain, and you can sense just how much it craves that league title. Everyone wants it, and I think with Jurgen Klopp in charge they can get there. I enjoyed Brendan Rodgers’ team a couple of years ago, but I think what Jurgen brings to the table in terms of that passion, desire and knowledge can make the difference. It’s easy to say, but I think there are good times ahead. I have a lot of Liverpool-supporting friends, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them this excited about a new season. And if they are excited, then so am I!”
Paisley Gates ( web site) publishes a telling story: the Birmingham born hit-man (Daniel Sturridge) only wants to talk trophies. (August 4, 2016) Getting some silverware is the aim for me this season. That’s what I’d love to do, said the 26-year old when asked what he’s looking to accomplish during the coming campaign. “We want to be as successful as possible. The main aim is to win trophies with Liverpool” stressed Sturridge. “That’s all I’ve wanted to do since I’ve been here. We have been so close to winning the Premier League, so close to winning two finals, but this year is the year when we have to try and win that trophy,” enthused the Reds striker. “I will let my feet do the talking. You guys have known me a long time and know I believe in myself.”
Georginio Wijnaldum is just as enthusiastic: “Of course we can be serious (league) title challengers,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “If you play for a club as big as Liverpool you always have to be trying to win trophies – that always has to be the aim. You’re never going to be happy with eighth or ninth here. You have to go for titles” explained the Dutchman. “That’s the dream for me to help Liverpool create more history and I will do everything I can for that” added Wijnaldum, daring to dream. “If Leicester can do it then why can’t we? It’s all about the team — that makes a champion, not a signing.”
As the Liverpool players new entrance emerges at Anfield, Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly also has a say on Jürgen Klopp. Writing a piece about the new trees that have been planted outside the Main Stand the headline reads, How Liverpool FC have made Klopp feel even more at home in the new Anfield, and the story turns to the trees German origin: Jurgen Klopp will feel even more at home at the new Anfield this year – after the club imported trees from his home region as part of their ongoing redevelopment. Work to install the first trees as part of the new Main Stand’s public realm is underway and are dominated by large oak trees imported from Germany’s Black Forest. Klopp grew up in the Black Forest village of Glutten and will no doubt be familiar with the trees which were flown to a local nursery to allow them to acclimatise to British weather conditions in preparation for their arrival at the stadium. Attention to detail was a big part of why LFC owners Fenway Sports Group made changes to the initial plans and even some of the tree leaves will be red! (Liverpool Echo, August 3, 2016)
Back to the boss again. As the fans were busy with the USA Mamadou Sakho news, Jürgen Klopp talked to Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce about other things as well. Thinking about the 63 matches played last season, Klopp is reeling with confidence, but not many people were too interested in his words at the time, the Sakho situation taken into account: “With Liverpool competing on four fronts, they ended up playing 63 matches in all competitions last season with time on the training field in desperately short supply. With no European football on the agenda in 2016/17, Klopp’s first full campaign at the helm promises to be very different. There will be much more time to work with his squad between matches and the manager has vowed that they will make it count.” The manager Klopp explains: “We have to be prepared” he said. “Last year it was clear. In the week we played let’s say Dortmund or Man United then at the weekend a team who fights for the league. It’s so different with a game every three days, although of course teams who are successful have to deal with that. We did our best. It wasn’t perfect but not too bad. This time we will play on Saturday or Sunday and then have seven days before the next one. We have to use that time and we will do. We believe in training, I have always said that. It’s intense – a lot of tactics, a lot of possession game, a lot of common defending, all this stuff. We enjoy this together, it’s nice for the players. It’s real training to bring the quality of these players together. This time is not for a holiday. It is to get each little advantage you can in a season. We have 20 games less this season but I’d say the possibility for 50 sessions more. We have to use it.” (Liverpool Echo, July 29, 2016)
Summed up, what I think I am experiencing – or at least observing – is a new feeling of confidence and trust, a new manner of thinking, a new manner of processing news about the club. Importantly also a new belief in the club, the players, the coaching staff, even the club owners who haven’t been too popular before. Most all of this is down to Jürgen Klopp’s general demeanour, his behaviour, his passion, his self confidence. The man himself is like a medicine closet for the people in Liverpool as well as abroad who are great fans of Liverpool Football Club. Not every one of us have turned into believers, but this is a continuing process that (hopefully) a long line of good results in August, September and October 2016 will make complete by Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Written by @MagneLeoKarlsem