We’d actually heard this story before, but it’s cropped up again in the national press today and outlines exactly how close a relationship Liverpool’s coaching staff share.
When Jurgen Klopp and Zeljko Buvac, his trusted lieutenant, were players at Mainz – they entered a pact which said the first one to get a manager’s job upon retirement would immediately employ the other as his assistant, writes Paul Joyce in the Times.
As it happened, Klopp was offered the Mainz job shortly after hanging up his boots, so Buvac kept his word and worked alongside him for seven years there, seven years at Borussia Dortmund and is now right alongside him at Liverpool.
It’s no surprise that when FSG offered Klopp a lengthy contract extension in the summer, the boss insisted that he’d only sign if his backroom team were offered new deals of the same length as well.
Joyce also claims that Klopp was distracted, tetchy and anxious in the five days which followed his official appointment as Liverpool boss, because Buvac had yet to arrive in the country. Our manager gets the plaudits, the headlines and provides the soundbites. He’s also on a significantly tastier annual wage, but as he preaches to his team, his success is due to the collective. Without Buvac and Peter Krawietz, Klopp would feel less comfortable and less assured of his mantra. As Liverpool fans, we should be as grateful for the assistants as we are Klopp himself – because their work together is the catalyst for our change in fortunes.