Top Of The Klopps

It’s been just five days since Jurgen Klopp was officially announced as Liverpool’s new manager. Less than a week since the ground shifted and Fenway Sports Group made what now feels like a game changing appointment in the managerial section of Liverpool’s backroom staff. In fact, if you include today, it’s the same amount of days until Liverpool’s next Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur sees Klopp lead the Reds out for the first time.

Let’s be honest, though; over the last five days or so has any self-respecting Liverpool fan got bored of reading about and watching videos of the eccentric German who is now our new leader? The talking heads, journalists and bloggers like ourselves certainly haven’t got bored of writing about him, that much is for sure!

There have been some genuinely top notch pieces written about Jurgen Klopp over the past week or so, with our own in depth look at the new boss and the things he’s likely to bring to Liverpool Football Club only a drop in the ocean when viewed alongside the volume of other pieces. Perhaps, therefore, you missed some of the better ones that have been floating around the web for the past week or so?

360b / shutterstock.com

360b / shutterstock.com

We thought, therefore, that we should take it upon ourselves to have a look at all of the best pieces and compile a list of the best articles about the new gaffer that are out there at the moment. It’s all subjective, of course, so if you think we’ve missed a really good piece then be sure to give us a shout. Owing to the combination of it being one of the best sources of Liverpool based work out their at the moment and the variety of quality writers they have at their disposal, most of these recommendations come from The Anfield Wrap. There are also some that are behind a paywall on The Times or The Tomkins Times, but where possible we’ve tried to focus on free articles that we think are worth a read.

We’ve also tried not to favour fan driven work over pieces in newspapers like The Guardian, and we’ll give you a little quote from the article that we think sums up the tone of the piece. Liverpool fans can’t wait for Saturday’s game against Spurs and can’t get enough info about the new manager, so why not get yourselves pumped for the match by reading the best in the business talk about the new boss?

How Might The Team Set Up?

This is a question asked by The Liverpool Echo, who have taken a look at the players Klopp used when he was at Dortmund and the players he will have available to him at Anfield in order to make some assumptions about how he’ll use the squad at his disposal. Here’s a sample of the sort of thing you can read in the article:

ATTACKING MIDFIELD

Who Klopp used: Kagawa, Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz, Perisic, Mkhitaryan

What the role entails: In his Dortmund ‘attacking midfield’, it is arguably a two-man role consisting of both the left-sided midfielder and the ‘no.10’ behind the striker. It could, incidentally, be argued the partnership comes from the left-sided player and the striker. But using this as a template, Klopp wants quick, direct players who possess excellent technical ability, a good eye for goal and can also utilise the press all across the field. These two will combine – along with the striker – to create opportunities.

The Cult Of The Manager

Liverpool is a football club where the cult of the manager matters more than at other places. Sky Sports had a look at why that matters, how Klopp might go about using it to his benefit and why Liverpool fans should be grateful he’s rocked up at Anfield rather than anywhere else. Here’s something from the article that might interest you:

A proven track record of success, undoubted tactical acumen, the ability to overcome clubs with far greater resources, Klopp has them all. Perhaps most importantly though, the German has the personality and charisma to become the iconic figurehead of the club – and to take it all in his stride.

Having such a status thrust upon them is something that previous managers have struggled with and for many of them the sheer weight of expectation, the desperation to achieve success for the millions of fans across the world, has ultimately taken its toll.

Can Klopp Bring Back Hope?

The first of our articles taken from The Anfield Wrap was written by Adam Smith. He went to see The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and spent most of the time thinking about how Jurgen Klopp can bring hope back to the Liverpool fans and how the conductor of an orchestra can be like the manager of a football club: working with people from different places around the world and brining them together for the purposes of getting them to work as a team. Here’s a sample of the piece:

Then Jurgen Klopp swept into Anfield, spoke of emotional football and of the need to kill the opposition and suddenly I’ve begun to hope again — begun to believe that the impossible is possible. Sons and daughters with mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters who want to celebrate the Reds winning the league are feeling like it might not be such a pipe dream after all.

Some people say it’s the hope that kills you, I think it’s the hope that makes you feel alive. As Roy Henderson tweeted recently: “If a football club, or anything else in life, is gonna overachieve, the starting point is everyone having unreasonable expectations.”

What Is Klopp Like According To The People Who Know Him?

fourfourtwo.com had a chat with a couple of people who Klopp has worked with in the past to find out what he’s like to work with, what Liverpool fans can expect from him and, more importantly, what the players will need to do to impress him. Want a clue? Here’s defender Tim Hoogland, a player Klopp signed at Mainz in 2007:

“You have to run. That’s it,” he says. “I think this is one of the important things you have to know about him. The whole team has to run 120 km (74.5 miles) collectively every game. 120km minimum [laughs].”

 What The Press Conference Says About Klopp

The Telegraph watched the press conference last Friday and made some conclusions about what it told us about Liverpool’s new gaffer. From his working class hero status through to the fact that he wants complete control, the presser was well worth watching and The Telegraph’s look at it was interesting. Here’s a snippet from it:

Jürgen Klopp’s performance was pitch-perfect, with just the right amount of self-deprication. He opened by apologising for his lack of English skills – before promptly delivering a verbal performance which put many of his home-grown peers to shame. Inevitably – as has been the case with every high-profile managerial appointment since Jose Mourinho’s Ego first landed in the Premier League – he was asked whether he would describe himself as a ‘special one’. “I don’t want to describe myself,” he said. “I’m a totally normal guy, I’m the Normal One.”

 What Did The Germans Ever Do For Us?

Paul Tomkins writes some excellent pieces on the current state of Liverpool. His work is often for subscribers only but he does also dish out a fair few pieces for free. In one of our favourites from him he went for a half and half approach, giving us a teaser before locking the main conclusions behind a paywall. What does Klopp offer Liverpool? Are we right to get so excited by the idea of Klopptomania? Have a read of the first bit and think if it’s enough to make you want to pay to read the second bit, too.

Every year it seems that one of the rich four has a bit of a nightmare, with the other three punching the weight of their pay-packets. There’s always a chance, but first Liverpool must become better than Spurs. Spurs haven’t done anything special to be above Liverpool, at least since they sold Gareth Bale – but they were above Liverpool last season, and they are right now. We can dream of the title, however unlikely it may be, but at the very least let’s start punching our weight, and take it from there. Klopp is a huge stride in the right direction.

 A United Fan Base

Two Anfield Wrap pieces in a row, now, with the first coming from Andy Heaton. He thinks that Klopp has united a previously fractured fanbase and that Liverpool fans are all pulling in the same direction for the first time in a long time. With everyone heading in the same direction, just how much can Liverpool achieve?

The city has been buzzing for days — on a scale of 1 to 10, it kicked off at 11 and hasn’t let up yet and even better, everyone, and I mean literally EVERYONE of a Red persuasion, is happy. Not one dissenting voice, not one “what abar this fella?” or a “fuckin’ shite, him” to be found. More a sense of happy, staggering bewilderment that the club has made a decision that no-one saw coming until it was already done. No pissing around flirting for weeks with an agent and telling everyone about it only to be trumped by a fella with a bigger wallet and flashier car at kicking out time. Hopefully a sign of things to come. Liverpool Football Club have dealt with this appointment with absolute conviction and speed, and for that, they deserve a pat on the back.

 Flicking The Vs At The Outside World

TAW piece number two comes from Gareth Roberts. He believes that Liverpool need to tell the doubters where to shove it and that Jurgen Klopp is the man to tell them to do it. It’s about more than aiming for “par” and accepting it, it’s about shooting for the stars and seeing where we land. Liverpool are better than the outside world thinks precisely because we believe we can achieve the impossible. Or, in Gareth’s words:

When Liverpool were losing at Bolton, drawing at Blackburn, losing to Birmingham City at Anfield and away at Middlesbrough, who was betting on the Reds to lift a fifth European Cup having overcome Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus, Chelsea and AC Milan with a squad containing Djimi Traore, Igor Biscan, Josemi, Antonio Nunez and Milan Baros just six months later? 

Who had Liverpool down as title contenders after losing to Southampton at home and Hull away before ending the season 30 goals and 23 points up compared to the previous season and leaping from seventh to second in the rollercoaster of 2013-14?

The answer to both must be no-one beyond the outrageously optimistic and there lies a lesson. Those Liverpool teams forgot the facts, ditched the financials and put history to one side. They come out swinging, we all loved it and look where it got us.

A Dose Of Realism

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been swept along on a tide of excitement thanks to Jurgen Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool manager. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, most of us still believe that Liverpool could win the league this season. So it is that Sean Ingle at The Guardian has given a slight dose of realism, pointing out that the new man in the Anfield hot seat will need time as well as luck to make the good times roll once more. Here’s Ingle:

So perhaps in the short term, as Klopp implements a very different style on his new squad, it might be wise to evaluate him on performances as well as results. How compelling is the football? How quickly are the younger players improving? Are Liverpool creating more chances – and conceding fewer in dangerous areas?

Vlad1988 / shutterstock.com

Vlad1988 / shutterstock.com

Analytics can play a part in this. If Liverpool are able to reduce their opponents’ successful pass percentage, for instance, it may indicate the effectiveness of their pressing game. And over the longer term tracking physical data could indicate whether Klopp’s brand of vigorous counter-pressing football can really work without a winter break.

Making His Own Destiny

Let’s be honest, though, lowering expectations isn’t fun. We want to be bouncing around the room, don’t we? We want to be ready to go to war, painting Liverpool’s colours on our face and running through brick walls because the manager wants us to. Si Steers wrote a piece for This Is Anfield talking about how Klopp can forge his own destiny in the wake of Brendan Rodgers’ departure from the club.

There is a fine margin between patience and mediocrity – you can’t expect change to be instant, and any manager will need time to build his ideas or reinvent a plan – that will be true with Klopp as well.

But what you need is to create a culture of belief. As Klopp has said he wants to turn us ‘from doubter to believers’ – if you believe in where the club is heading, you will accept the bumps along the way.

The appointment of Klopp has elevated the stature and the level of Liverpool Football Club. It has shown to the world that one of the best coaches in the game believes we can be great again. Klopp’s personality is so infectious that players are going to want to run through brick walls for him – players will want to be part of Klopp’s Liverpool.

Winning Over The Doubters

Jurgen Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool manager has got everyone of a Red persuasion incredibly excited. Another five days until the game against Tottenham Hotspur seems like an eternity. All we have to go on for the moment is the press conference and what Klopp said in his first public outing as the boss of Liverpool Football Club. The Daily Mail, normally not a newspaper we’d have time for, have done a piece about how Liverpool’s new manager turned himself into one of the most sought after people in world football. How did he become the manager he is today? Why did Mainz take a chance on their player? The Mail explores:

For Klopp has a gift not just for inspiring his players to perform above their ability but also for carrying entire cities with him. His ability as an orator was as important as his tactical innovations. As such, he should be made for Liverpool.

Today Mainz sit eighth in the Bundesliga, play in a 34,000-capacity stadium on the outskirts of town with an average crowd of 30,000. Everyone agrees that without Klopp none of this would have happened.

When Klopp played for them at the old Bruchweg Stadium as a workmanlike and enthusiastic but ultimately limited defender and centre forward, and when he took over as manager in 2001, they were attracting crowds of a few thousand and about to fall into the third tier of German football again. Mainz are the club that Klopp built but also the club that formed him, where he played for 12 years and then spent seven years as manager.

A Look At The Present

In amongst all of the excitement over what Klopp has achieved in the past and what he’s likely to do in the future, there’s something that seems to have been forgotten: the present. Jurgen Klopp has a team to prepare for the game against Spurs at the weekend and that will mean travelling in to Selwood every day for training. So how did his first day go? Were there any fans there to greet him? Was there a general feeling of excitement? You can probably imagine the answers, but The Mirror have written something about it all complete with pictures. If this doesn’t get you excited about the future then we don’t know what will!

New Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has introduced himself to fans personally for the first time.

Klopp pulled up to greet eager supporters and pose for a selfie or two outside of the club’s Melwood training facility on Monday after taking training.

The new Liverpool boss had just taken his first session, where he worked with Daniel Sturridge and the Reds’ other stars that were not on international duty.

He stopped in his newly-acquired Porsche 4×4 car outside the training facilities’ gates as supporters rushed to meet their new management hero.

Klopp smiled as young fans took selfies, while he also signed shirts and pictures which were thrust in front of him.

Words Speak Louder Than Absent Actions

Last but not least, as we said above there are no actions we can review just yet – there aren’t even any leaked photos of his first training session for us to pour over and make assumptions about – so what better way to get excited about the future under our new boss than read to what he’s had to say since he arrived? It might give you an insight or two in to his mindset and the way things are likely to head in the future with the enigmatic German at the helm. This Is Anfield picked out some of his key quotes so far:

On the squad he has inherited:

“This is a great club with big potential, fast players, strong players, good defenders. Everything is there. Four or five strikers you can work with when they are not injured, midfielders, defenders are experienced and young, goalkeeper is really good.”

On his message to players and fans:

“You have to change from doubters to believers. We have to start anew and see what happens this year.”

If we have missed any great articles that you’ve enjoyed reading them please do let us know either in our comments section or else via Twitter. We love interacting with our readers and it’s important that you feel we’re open to discussions! From our readers to our writers we’re a team and we hope you feel a part of it too.

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