Upon his arrival, enthusiasm was spread all over the Liverpool fan base. In the first months of his tenure, when the results wouldn’t come as people may have expected, he could have blamed either his predecessor or the players.
He could have straightaway dismantled a team that wasn’t his own and insist on bringing in players of his taste. He didn’t though, as he refused to put his ego above the team.
Thanks to Panos88K for this guest post!
It wasn’t about uprooting the sense of failure from a team that struggled to bounce back since losing the 2013/14 title.
It was rather about carefully examining a priceless construction and creating a plan on how it could be remodelled to adapt to a modern era and shine even more that it used to do.
Klopp has chosen the football way. It may be a long one, but it’s the right way.
When you can’t put the pieces of the puzzle together, you don’t throw it to the bin, to buy a new one.
You are taking a step back for a while, considering what could be missing and slowly start placing the ones that fit better.
Under his tenure, Anfield has been turned into an impregnable castle, while the team has performed some extraordinary football throughout the last few months.
Piece by piece, a solid defence has been assembled; a backline that has conceded fewer goals than any other team from the TOP 5 European leagues, bar Manchester City.
Players with strong personality have been brought in, some of whom wouldn’t hesitate to wear the Liverpool armband tomorrow.
To an outsider, the bond between the members of the squad seems both healthy and powerful, as the images we get reveal a sincere connection behind the Melwood doors.
One thousand, one hundred and twenty-one days after his official presentation, Liverpool have reached two European finals – losing both to the competitions’ serial winners.
Through such tournaments players get confidence, which will subsequently turn into continuity and performance stability, to finally take its final shape; that of the mindset of a champion.
Under Klopp, Liverpool have learnt how to achieve glorious comebacks (against Borussia Dortmund), look strongest opponents into the eye, rely on the team spirit (before Salah), count on an individual (after Salah), outscore their opponents and attack in heavy-metal mode.
Now it’s time for the next lesson, which might prove the most critical on the team’s way to the Premier League silverware.
It’s named ‘Win ugly, at all costs’ and requires a solid defensive approach, on-pitch tranquility, positive arrogance and self-confidence.
In the first stretch of the season, Liverpool have been unbeaten in 12 games, marking our joint best ever start of a Premier League campaign.
They have achieved that without even performing half of what they have demonstrated they can offer to the fans.
Since day one, the German tactician started building something that can’t be just purchased with money.
Liverpool are slowly – but steadily – developing the mentality of a champion and the last lesson that should be passed in order to get there, will aim to turning the team into a cynical beast.
One that could make comebacks, secure ugly victories, prevail against stronger opponents, win on their bad day and think game-by-game.
“For us it is not important what other teams are doing, only if we play them,” highlighted Klopp prior the Emirates game.
“We are really focused on us, really focused on us, and that’s the only way I know it will work.”
Liverpool’s remodelling hasn’t been finished yet, but what could possibly go wrong when everything is the done the right way – Klopp’s football way?