Jürgen Klopp Faces New Challenge In Rescuing Liverpool

There is little doubt that Jürgen Klopp is one of the best managers in the world. When you compare and contrast the resources that he has had available to him with those afforded to Pep Guardiola, it is remarkable that Liverpool achieved what the did last season. Manchester City is a football club run by a state for the purposes of sports washing, which is clearly working when you speak to most fans of the club about their owners. Liverpool, on the other hand, is owned by a group of venture capitalists who know how to turn a profit. Whilst I personally like Fenway Sports Group and how they’ve run the club, barring one or two errors, there can be little doubt that their approach is the antithesis of that of Sheikh Mansour and his cronies. FSG opt for a method of only reinvesting what the club is able to earn, as opposed to spending billions of their own money and covering it up.

Modern day sports fans, who are used to the world of FIFA and investing money out of nowhere, might prefer the Sheikh Mansour way of working but it isn’t realistic. You’re just as likely to get dodgy dealers in charge as you are genuine billionaires who are happy to see their money disappear down a drain for the purposes of winning trophies. It’s also far from a guarantee of success, as we’re seeing with Chelsea over the past few years. Sustainable, sensible ownership isn’t sexy, but it is far more sustainable when the world doesn’t feel as though it’s coming apart at the seams. Manchester United have spent a huge amount of money since Alex Ferguson retired, but I’d far rather have our owners than ones that take millions out of the club at every opportunity. Jürgen Klopp knew what sort of owners he was signing up to work with, so does he have what he takes to rebuild Liverpool with them in charge?

He Has To Have Less Faith In Players

It is an incredibly difficult balance for Jürgen Klopp to strike when it comes to the faith that he demonstrates in players. On the one hand, putting his trust in the lads that he works with is part of what has got him the buy-in from the whole squad that he’s demonstrated so well over the past few seasons. On the other hand, he’s given far more trust to certain players than they probably deserve. Whilst Divock Origi will forever be remembered as a cult figure at the club, there’s no way he should still be a Liverpool player now. He should have been sold in the immediate aftermath of his Champions League final exploits, when his stock was as high as it would ever get. Instead, we’ve witnessed him plodding around the place as one of the first attacking substitutes, despite him being nowhere near good enough to be a player in this Liverpool team.

On a similar note, Joel Matip’s injury record is such that we should have sold him last summer. Instead, he’s been kept in the squad and can barely appear for more than two games in a row before going missing for a month or so. There are plenty of members of the side that you could say similar things about, such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, that the manager has stuck by when there’s an argument that doing so has weakened us overall. He seems to make the mistake of remembering their performances from several seasons ago and assuming that they’ll be able to repeat them, when in most cases it seems as though those days are gone. There’s a phrase for writers that says that they have to learn how to kill their babies, which I think might also apply to Jürgen Klopp and his players, in the sense that letting them go might be the best way to move forward.

He Might Need To Reinvent Himself

Everything that I say in this piece is said in the full knowledge that injuries have completely derailed our season. Had Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez not been injured, we wouldn’t need to play midfielders in defence, poorer midfielders in the middle and therefore have less quality service for the front three. Instead, the team looks nothing like it should and players are playing out of position almost every week. The one thing that the manager hasn’t done much of is having a look at his formation, meaning that everyone knows that we’re going to play 4-3-3 pretty much every time we take to the field. This is in spite of the fact that it’s not necessarily getting the most out of the players that he has at his disposal. He is not being particularly pragmatic during the current injury crisis and it feels as though it’s costing us. Does he have the ability to change his approach to matches?

If we’re to come out the other side of this current crisis then he might just need to. Yes, we’ve had appalling injuries that would decimate virtually any club’s chances of having a successful season. That being said, the manager’s seeming inability to change his way of working to get the most out of what he’s got isn’t helping us much either. Similarly, his desire to constantly ask his players to show respect to referees means that we’re getting virtually nothing out of them week after week, whilst other teams that are happy to surround and harangue the men in the middle get decisions going there way all the time. He’s a relentlessly positive person and we’re too nice, as demonstrated with our weak derby loss at a time when I had expected us to come out all guns blazing. The team needs to operate less in his smiley happy image and more in the one of him snarling and shouting in the fourth official’s face.

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