The moment Ian Ayre got the call from the Fenway Sports Group hierarchy to notify Brendan Rodgers that his time at Anfield was up, most Liverpool fans had their minds made up on who they wanted to be installed as our new manager. In truth, most of us would have loved the charismatic bearded German to have arrived during the summer especially after that horror show at the Brittania, but John Henry and Tom Werner had other plans. That is for another day.
The arrival of Jürgen Klopp has brought new levels of excitement to Anfield. The mere fact that he was being touted for the job had raised hopes on the red half of Merseyside. For the record, Jürgen Klopp is a world class manager which is what is needed at a world class club like ours. He brings energy to his teams and that is what probably impresses Liverpool fans the most. He is a passionate man (he goes overboard a times) who connects very well with his club and her fans. For those who watched Dortmund over the past few years, you could see a fast paced and well balanced team with and without the ball. They played with a lot of spirit and kept evolving even with the exit of players like Lucas Barrios, Sahin, Kagawa et al. This is largely due to the fact that he has been able to mostly get the right replacements who fit into his style such as Reus and Aubameyang. Fans can only hope he is able to do the same for LFC as we are yet to recover from the exit of Luis Suarez.
The task ahead of Klopp is indeed a big one and rightly described as the biggest challenge in football….returning Liverpool fc to her glorious days. LFC’s current state was BEST described by Jamie Carragher on the day Rodgers was sacked when he said “we think we are a big club but we are not…the Man City’s and Chelsea’s are not worried about us or who we buy because they know we cannot hurt them”. No one could be closer to the truth. After winning just one league cup in almost ten years, its time the club’s hierarchy take a critical look at our current situation and what direction we are heading.
One of Rodgers’ faults was his perceived penchant for wrong and sometimes wasteful buying. Players like Thiago Ilori, Mario Balotelli, Luis Alberto, Lazar Markovic and Dejan Lovren (still can’t believe we pushed out Agger for Lovren) have not had the best of times at LFC. Hopefully Klopp will make better use of the transfer windows and banish the nightmares of the post-Suarez transfer dealings. We also hope he can attract more world class players to the club…players that will take us to the next level….did I hear you say Marco Reus?
Klopp has asked for patience from the fans for him to take LFC back to where we belong and “turn doubters into believers”. The way I see it, the red half of Merseyside and indeed Liverpool fans all over the world are excited in Klopp and already believe in him. Therefore, his major task is to keep us believing. His promise of at least one league title within four years may go down well with some (if not most) fans as it gives the kopites a chance to dream again. Good thing is his longtime assistant (the Brain) is on board with Klopp (Pinky) on this new journey… we can truly take over the football world in no time!
One can only hope the current team quickly adapt to Klopp’s brand of full throttle football and show massive improvements on the pitch. This weekend’s clash with Spurs may come too soon for the extreme makeover that Liverpool fans desire. One this is for sure though, we are all optimistic about our days ahead with the “The Normal One” in charge of our beloved team.
It is indeed the dawn of a new era.
By Olufemi Fakolujo @fakson