Danke Schön, Jürgen

Jurgen Klopp Manager

There was a period during his time as manager when Liverpool won 106 points from a possible 108. That is absolutely incredible. Not even Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, with the asterisk against their name, have achieved that. It was a managerial feat the likes of which we’ll never see again.

Summing up quite what the German achieved at Anfield is far from an easy thing to do. Such is what he’s done for the club that if you spoke to ten different people then you’d get ten different answers. In some ways, it is as much about vibes as anything else, with Klopp having completely changed the way in which Liverpool fans have been able to think about the football.

At his own leaving ceremony, Jürgen got the crowd to start a chant for the fella that’s to be taking his job. That’s the sort of person that is, always thinking about someone else and putting the club at the forefront of what he does. Here, though, are some highlights:

Barcelona & Winning the Champions League

Liverpool Champions Premier League

In 2018, Liverpool made it to the Champions League final and lost to Real Madrid. It was a heart-breaking occasion, with Mo Salah’s arm almost broken by Sergio Ramos and Loris Karius being given a concussion that went undiagnosed. Many supporters felt as though that was it, but the manager didn’t. He picked his players up off the floor and got them to a place where they could go again.

Boy did they go again. Other than Manchester City, who have 115 charges of financial impropriety hanging over them, no club has got as many as 97 points in the Premier League before. That Liverpool got that many and still didn’t win the title is a crime. Possibly literally.

Having seen Vincent Kompany score a goal against Leicester City that he’d not be able to do if he had another 100 goes at it, handing the league title to Guardiola, the Reds had to take on Barcelona at Anfield and attempt to overturn a three goal deficit. Not only that, they had to do so without the Spanish side scoring, in spite of the fact that players like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were goal-scoring machines and we all knew about how deadly Philippe Coutinho could be.

A goal from Divock Origi after just seven minutes gave the Anfield faithful hope, before a whirling dervish of a performance from Gini Wijnaldum dragged us level.

It was the quick-thinking of Trent Alexander-Arnold that helped up push our nose in front, with a CORNER TAKEN QUICKLY slotted home from Origi and Anfield sent delirious. The win over Tottenham Hotspur in the final wasn’t really all that, being more of a defensive masterclass than an attacking one, but the club’s sixth European Cup was earned with that insane win over Barcelona at Anfield. A night that will be remembered for generations.

Liverpool is a club with a long and storied history, with nights like Saint-Étienne spoken about by our parents. Jürgen Klopp’s team gave us just such a night of our own to talk about to our grandkids.

Winning the League

klopp waves to fans

If you want to talk about a highlight of Jürgen Klopp’s time in charge of Liverpool then it would be impossible not to mention winning the Premier League. It was the trophy that we had all craved for so long, desperate to see the title return to Anfield for the first time since the top-flight was re-branded.

Whilst it will always be tainted by the fact that it happened behind closed doors, there is no question that the Reds were one of the best league winning sides the country has ever seen. Opposition fans, desperate to downplay the accomplishment, will say that it was a ‘Covid title’, but they don’t have a leg to stand on.

If you said that only points won by Liverpool in front of supporters counted and the points won by other teams without fans could be added to their tally, the Reds would still have ended up as champions. They were absolutely relentless, winning 26 of their first 27 games and the only dropped points being a draw at Old Trafford.

Klopp knew that to beat City we’d have to break 100 points, so the put their foot on the throttle from the first whilst and didn’t let up. It was the best Liverpool team that there’s ever been, with Klopp being the genius architect of our superiority. Others can try to play it down. They won’t succeed.

The Good Times Along the Way

jurgen klopp liverpool double winning bus parade 2022

It is virtually impossible to sum up Jürgen Klopp’s time in charge of Liverpool in around 1,000 words. It is also difficult to try to tell people how much he changed the club for the better if they don’t know much about football. When he arrived he told us we needed to turn from ‘doubters to believers’.

That didn’t come easily for a group of people that had been hurt so many times before. How much we changed might be best summed up by the fact that the Spion Kop 1906 group organised a banner for the Kop on Jürgen’s final day that read: Doubters. Believers. Conquerers. We conquered the world under him, being the best club on the planet for a time.

You could point to individual moments, such as the win over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League during his first season in charge, without which Barcelona probably doesn’t happen. You could talk about the trophies won, with the Reds winning the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup, two League Cups, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup as proof of how good he was.

There is a conversation to be had that if he hadn’t been going up against a club owned by a nation state he’d have two more titles to his name. In the end, though, the best compliment you can give is that he deserves the same epitaph as Shankly:

He made the people happy.

arne slot being interviewed smiling

New Liverpool Manager Profile – Arne Slot

It was never going to be easy to replace Jürgen Klopp. The former Borussia Dortmund manager arrive at Anfield and told the supporters that we needed to turn from ‘doubters to believers’. It may have taken some a little longer to drink the Kool-Aid than others, but by the time the club reached its second […]

Read More