Jurgen Klopp has been a breath of fresh of air for Liverpool and the Premier League since his arrival in October 2015, and the early signs suggest the 49-year-old German might just be the manager who brings the good times back to Anfield.
Klopp’s ascent to the business end of England’s top flight is not surprising when one takes a closer look at his excellent pedigree. The Stuttgart native cut his teeth in the managerial game with Mainz 05, but it was with Borussia Dortmund that he made his name and developed the eye-catching brand of high-intensity, attacking football that he is renowned for.
Klopp went up against the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jupp Heynckes in Bundesliga and largely came out on top as Dortmund claimed successive league titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and advanced to the Champions League final in 2012/13. His exploits did not go unnoticed in England, and he was highly sought after before finally taking up the reigns at Liverpool.
Klopp’s brief tenure at Anfield has been everything that fans could have wished for and more so far. He overhauled a squad that was looking increasingly bereft of confidence under former manager Brendan Rodgers and got them to start winning matches again. His first scalp at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea was a sign of things to come for the remainder of the season.
However, it was in Europe where Liverpool came to life last season, with the memorable 4-3 comeback against old club Dortmund lighting the touch-paper for a superb run to the final of the Europa League. It ultimately ended in defeat to Sevilla in Basel, but the Reds were back on the map and confident about staying there.
The fact that Liverpool missed out on qualifying for Europe’s club competitions this term could be advantageous. Klopp had to juggle the demands of deep cup runs and the Premier League in 2015/16, which inevitably had a detrimental impact on their league form. According to 888sport, however, that will not be a problem this time around.
It means Liverpool might be fitter and fresher than the big sides around them, such as Arsenal and Manchester City, who will have to play European matches at midweek and then play in the league at the weekend. The domestic woes of Leicester City this term show that the cliché of more matches affecting performance does have some substance. Spurs and Manchester United also appear to have struggled with their busy schedule this term. In contrast, Chelsea and Liverpool are flying high in the league.
Klopp is confident that his side can maintain their excellent form after revealing in December that they can challenge and potentially “win everything”. The German’s astute transfer signings have certainly helped Liverpool’s cause as Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Joel Matip have all slotted seamlessly into first team roles.
The future looks bright, and with a little magic from the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, Klopp could very well take Liverpool back to the very top of the domestic game for a sustained period of time.