Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has paid perhaps the ultimate compliment to the Liverpool side managed by Jurgen Klopp that he faced during his time in charge of Manchester United.
The Norwegian gave an extensive interview to The Athletic in which he reflected in depth about his three years in the Old Trafford dugout, with that period between December 2018 and November 2021 coinciding with a glorious era for the Reds.
The Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup all made their way to Anfield in that time, while the most recent meeting between the two managers ended with us romping to a 5-0 win in the Red Devils’ own backyard.
Thinking back to that Liverpool vintage, Solskjaer said: “Those City and Liverpool teams were the best that their clubs, with fantastic managers, have ever had. I know that’s a bold statement because Liverpool were so good in the ’80s, but they were a fantastic side under Jurgen Klopp.”
Liverpool have had some truly special teams and managers in their 131-year existence, so for Solskjaer to put Klopp’s generation at the very top is quite the compliment.
That’s ahead of Bill Shankly, who won three league titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup and transformed the club from a meandering Second Division outfit to one which was feared by opponents in England and Europe, being described by lfchistory.net as ‘the father of the modern-day Liverpool’.
His successor Bob Paisley lifted six league titles, three European Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup in the space of nine years, building upon his predecessor’s legacy by making LFC an undisputed continental heavyweight.
Klopp’s trophy haul stands at one win each in the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup, but that alone doesn’t tell the whole story.
This is a manager who, in three out of four top-flight seasons between 2018/19 and 2021/22, accrued points tallies of 97, 99 and 92 (the first and third of those were one point shy of Manchester City) and lost only six matches across those three campaigns (two of which came after we’d wrapped up the title in 2020).
The debate as to the German’s standing in the all-time list of Liverpool’s greatest bosses will rumble on between Reds supporters, but it’s indicative of just how incredible a job he’s done that Solskjaer has proclaimed Klopp’s team to be the best that Anfield has ever seen.