The Shape of Things to Come!

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While Barcelona have been basking in their glory for a few seasons now and are deemed to be best worldwide, there is a team to which every Liverpool manager, player and supporter ought to take a very good and deep look at and say: this is the way we want to get back to the top! The team in question is non-other than Borussia Dortmund!

A brief summary of that this club went through in the past decade! Following their last Bundesliga triumph in the 2001/02 season, poor financial management led to a heavy debt load and the forced sale of their Westfalenstadion ground. In 2005, the club nearly reached bankruptcy when its share prices plummeted 80%, while the players had to bear the brunt by taking a pay-cut of 20%. Selling naming rights for the leased with by-back option stadium and the sale of rising stars Rosicky and Odonkor brought some financial stability and somehow the club avoided being wiped off the sporting map and relegation. In 2008, the appointment of Jürgen Klopp as the club’s new manager turned things around!

I feel the need to stress that Klopp was appointed in 2008 and we have just concluded the 2011-2012 season meaning he had been in charge for 4 years….yes FOUR YEARS! In his first season, Klopp finished 6th in the Bundesliga and beat Bayern in the final of the DFB Super Cup. The following season the climbed one notch to finish 5th making a return to European football.

Klopp is considered a visionary of the game and his concept football is fundamentally based on the mental aspect. Rather than sticking to one single plan, the approach is to adjust the formation in line with the demands of the game and opposition at hand (something we have been awfully lacking at Liverpool). The basic tactical frame would remain same, but the players will swap positions according to the situation. A game plan, in which the team is expected to take the decisions, create accordingly, make adjustments in accordance with the situation; to support each other and to co-create and remain synchronized in both offensive and defensive duties.

One example of Klopp’s unparalleled ability as a strategist was his implementation of an unfamiliar 4-3-2-1 strategy against his former club Mainz in the 2010/11 season. The team had only 45 minutes to get accustomed to the strategy, which was adopted to counter the fast pressing football of Mainz with an even more pressing football by giving no room for movement in the middle of the park for the Mainz players. The team showed a solid maturity in grasping the concept of 4-3-2-1 and they inflicted the then pacesetters Mainz an unexpected 2-0 defeat. It was not only one of the pinnacles the team had reached under Klopp, but most importantly also a reminder of even greater things to come.

Another ‘secret’ of Klopp’s success is the adoption of the Life Kinetic concept – exercises in the movement and coordination of the body. The final and main ingredient in this winning formula is that Borussia Dortmund is not built around one single player! Klopp based his project on a team with an average age of 23. The first two years of failure (as in not winning the Bundesliga……) helped Klopp understand the weaknesses in his system and he made adjustments to make his defense stronger, with every player contributing collectively to defend. Strikers Lewandowski and Barrios formed a formidable attacking partnership, midfielders like Sahin (8 goals), Kagawa (12 goals), Großkreutz (9 goals) and Götze (8 goals) and pitched in as second strikers contributing to the ever growing success of his formula. The midfield quintet proved to be quick, fluid and interchangeable forcing the opposition to keep guessing the strategy.

Needless to remind anyone that Borussia Dortmund have, for the past two seasons, not only played the most intense hi-pressure football in Europe, but they have clinched back-to-back Bundesliga titles and also trashed Bayern Munich in the German Cup final!

The analogies here are vast and various. Brendan Rodgers has this vision. He has this ability and concept to do ‘something different’! Klopp considers his first two seasons as failure because he did not win the Bundesliga, but those two years threw the foundations for a formation of a formidable squad that has outplayed, outgunned and outshone the mighty and often untouchable Bayern Munich!

Rodgers needs to shape the squad to make sure he had the right players for the task. He did this on a low budget at Swansea, and there is no reason why he cannot do this with the significant backing of FSG and a club like Liverpool! Some players will not be up to it! Some of them will not be able to adapt! Other will not have the characteristics to suit the concept and these, alas, will have to look at pastures new. This is a new concept and needs time to be implemented: we should always keep this present in our thoughts.

My personal expectations are to see the Reds play a positive, intense game. I want the Reds to ‘improve’ their game first and foremost. I want the Reds to embrace this concept because if they do, we would be looking at exciting and successful times ahead. Managers like Klopp, Guardiola, Zeman and Rodgers are part of a special breed! We have the honour of having one of them managing our great Club!

p.s. The gist of this piece of writing was taken from an article published online by Arnav Bose in 2011. There was no intention of simply copying his work, but I did find his writing relevant to our cause and to the situation LFC finds itself in today!


  1. Good article. I don’t think BR’s philosophy will take long to work considering that our current style of play is not too different from his philosophy. We just need a few signings here and there that would synchronise it.

  2. All well and good, but teams need better players and with liverpool this is the case.

    Ever banega, gaston ramirez would bring in great pace, more football on the ground, the both link and move unlike downing and adam when they both stay still.

    We must have a team with players that move and are always moving.

    Both players above would be great, young, fit, strong quicker, and more able to link up with better players like suarez and bellamy and gerrard.

    both buys would give us value, have played in big games already and are going to be even better in the future.

    If we could pull this of this summer we would be in with a chance to break into top 4.



  3. Glad to hear that maybe Aquilani might be out of the club.

    He has never wanted to be here and we need 100% committed players next season.

    We got him fit he then requests a loan move back to Italy when we where chasing the league, he then opens his mouth and also we here many things about his mouthy agent saying this and that!

    I think its great the guy is going, Roma didnt like him, Juventus didnt want him and only Ac Milan are only willing to pay very very little what does this tell you.

    I think the bloke stinks and yet so many LFC supporters want him to stay, – cant they wake up and see that the guy doesnt really want to be at Liverpool.

    Next up to be sold;- joe cole,danny wilson, eccleston, brad jones, pacheco,

    Already gone are- aurelio, kuyt & darby.

  4. Stevan Jovetic is up for sale at Fiorentina, at 20 million he would be a great buy and still just 22 years of age! plays in the link role around the fornt 2 or just behined 1 up top. this guy gave us the run around while knocking us out when we played them couple of year back.

    Ever banega- just sign him, great footballer, small low centre of gravity, quick passing, fast over 15 yards, got that pace of movement all over the pitch and at 23 is going on to be one of the best pass and move players in the world. this guy will be that good.

    Gaston Ramirez – great player in the making, fast, can play with both feet, runs all day, links up with his mate suarez and coates and etc, this guy can play wide and in the centre of the pitch, this guy again is going on to much bigger things, most clubs are watching his next move, we must sign him, this guy is another footballer, he plays the game in the right way!

    cavani- just love him he is everything, –

  5. I presume many players wouldn’t find Brendan Rodgers philosophy of football strange as it’s kinda similar to the philosophy Kenny adopted with them.With Brendan many of these players would be coached,drilled and educated on how to better their game technically unlike Kenny that hardly coaches these players..I can’t wait to see our team under the new management we simply need coupld of established additions like a right winger,another goal scorer etc

  6. I agree with sentiments that BR’s philosophy isn’t far removed from how we are currently playing. It’s a tweak on Pass-and-Move, with a mordern touch. He’s said to love playing a 4-3-3, a formation we haven’t seen too much at Anfield, with fast wing play but plenty of possession and intensity.

    All I know is I’m excited at where Project LFC is set to go from here. Players like Sigurdsson are good signings but we should also incorporate youth prospects (the Susos and Morgos). I’m quietly confident about our coming season(s).

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