Both pundits and rival fans have scrutinised Klopp for his lack of silverware at Liverpool so far, but the boss must be given a fair chance to deliver what is expected…
As the start of a new season dawns once again, it is coming up to three years since Jurgen Klopp became manager of Liverpool Football Club. Jurgen replaced Brendan Rodgers in early October 2015; an appointment which flooded hope and belief in supporters after seasons of disappointment and little success.
Thanks to Kiran Patel for this guest post!
Before his appointment, the Liverpool side appeared to be nothing but a contrary of the past: the only silverware won in 5 years was the Carling Cup; deadwood was ever-present and star players like Luis Suarez turned their heads to more promising, European franchises. Klopp, however, revolutionised the club. The football is arguably the most attractive we have ever played; we are once again competing with the best in the country; and big names are now choosing us over our rivals, as shown with Virgil Van Dijk who rejected City to play under Klopp in January earlier this year.
What is more, Klopp has revived our status on the world stage. He has taken the club to two major European finals (our first since 2006/07) and has achieved in two consecutive seasons qualification for the Champions League, a feat which is getting increasingly harder with six teams competing for the top four spots. What hasn’t happened, though, is winning trophies- a hurdle even Jose Mourinho has managed to climb at United despite constant criticism towards him since his arrival.
Already this transfer window, Klopp has spent over £160 million. Having ourselves previously attacked City and United for this kind of spending over recent years, we must not ignore that this is a large sum of money, regardless of ‘net spend’ or Coutinho money used to put towards the fund. Indeed, pundits and rival fans are already calling for Klopp’s head, questioning his authority as a top manager if we fail to win any silverware in the upcoming season in consideration of what has been spent.
However, Klopp should be given a fair chance to prove his worth to those who question him. Pep Guardiola failed to win any silverware in his first season at the Etihad, despite injecting around £180 million worth of players into his side. Pep was given the time for his squad to adapt to the Premier League and play ‘the Guardiola way’, which proved successful for the team who managed to win the League Cup and Premier League title last season. As such, it has only been until recently where Klopp has managed to field a squad which can be labelled as ‘his team’. Klopp should be given similar time for his new team to settle in accordingly, irrespective of how much has been spent this transfer window to compose it.
It has only been since January where Klopp has been fully free to invest whatever money is needed to secure the players he so desires. With it, the team is finally shaping up to be one which can challenge for silverware and the title in upcoming years. After the purchase of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton, Klopp turned to AS Roma for goalkeeper Alisson, and by doing so, addressed reoccurring problems and key areas in the squad improving them credibly. Indeed, these problems have been responsible for where Liverpool have fallen at the final hurdle previously. Not one person can deny what could have possibly happened in the Champions League final if it wasn’t for those fatal errors and one, unlucky injury.
It is now, then, that the club can start to win trophies and return to the top where we rightfully belong. Liverpool Football Club is a team built on a history of success, and with the previous position the club was in, Klopp came to the club with a difficult task ahead of him to achieve this. There was no expectation for immediate success upon his arrival- after all, he was faced with making the best out of what he was given, changing the style of play completely and building a team by inserting a philosophy he can play with.
Now though, Klopp has a great burden of pressure on him. What he has managed to achieve in such a short space of time deserves respect and praise, but when other managers are winning around him, he must also meet such criteria. By no means do Liverpool fans want him gone- everyone feels he is the man to bring glory back to Anfield. But by all means it is great to watch some of the best football in the country, however when it comes to nothing, a disappointment similar to when we weren’t competing on the highest-level returns. As Souness has remarked: “they have to start winning trophies as that is what you are judged on ultimately and that is the only thing that is missing”.
Klopp then, has built his squad for the future. Indeed, Klopp has revolutionised the club compared to what he was faced with when he joined nearly this time, three years ago. Both pundits and rival fans have scrutinised Klopp for his lack of silverware at Liverpool so far, but the boss must be given a fair chance, similar to the treatment given to Guardiola, to deliver what is expected.
Whilst this is said, however, football is getting even more critical as the seasons go by. With most of the hard work already done, trophies must be, and most definitely looks to be, the next step for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.