Over the past decade, Liverpool Football Club has been mediocre at best compared to the Liverpool we think about from thirty years ago. Whether it has been not finishing in the top four, inconsistency in the boss’ chair, or just flat-out not performing, that is the Liverpool we all think of when it comes to recent years. As a person who bleeds Liverpool red, it broke my heart to see the state of the club over the past few seasons.
As a Liverpool supporter, I am always hopeful at the beginning of each season and have been since I started watching the “men in red”. When you support a team that was so good at one time it easy to think, “Okay, this year could be ours.” However, over the years, no matter how close they have come to snatching that sweet Premier League trophy, Liverpool always come up short and I believe it stems from the issues I spoke of earlier. This is something I believe the Liverpool fan base had just accepted as a whole, but on the 8th of October 2015, a new hope rang within me.
Liverpool had just hired Jurgen Klopp, the German coaching perfectionist and mastermind, after Brendan Rodgers, who had his Liverpool side sitting smack dab in the middle of table in 10th place, was fired. Although I personally do not believe Brendan Rodgers was a terrible coach for Liverpool, in three and half years of coaching, he never won a trophy and his one season of taking Liverpool to the champions league was a terrible showing, not to mention before he was fired, coaches like Carlos Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp, who both have incredible track records were available. Upon Klopp’s hiring/arrival, I developed a new found hope for Liverpool, which I felt was justified. Jurgen’s resume and accomplishments speak for themselves.
Klopp was hired by Borussia Dortmund in 2008 after one of their worst season in 20 years. In 2011, after just three short years in charge, Klopp made his Dortmund side as champions of Germany. Not long after that, they reached the Champions League Final in 2013. Klopp’s dive into the transfer windows at Dortmund, along with his investment in youth players, proved he is amazing at developing young talent into top notch players. In his time at Dortmund, we were able to watch him develop players like Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Matt Hummels, and the list goes on. All of those players, then and now, are World Class players.
Klopp took over at Liverpool in the middle of the 2015-16 year with a Brendan Rodgers picked team. This past season, (his first year at Liverpool) he took the reds to a Europa League Final. Instantly upon Klopp’s arrival, Liverpool players started raving about his coaching style and how they loved playing for the man. I knew we wouldn’t see Klopp on full display until he had a summer transfer window and preseason under the German’s belt. During this past summer, Jurgen went full swing into the transfer window and picked up some key players who have been essential to the Reds success this season. Players like Sadio Mane, Joel Matip, Loris Karius, and Georginio Wijnaldum are among the signings last summer who have helped Liverpool find success this season. Mane, up until his recent injury, has been having quite the season with his 13 goals and five assists in the Premier League. For only being at the club for less than a year, that is a special feat and it just goes to show that the Jurgen Klopp effect has obviously rubbed off on him. Joel Matip was a free transfer from Schalke who has been the most solid defenders for Liverpool this season. Loris Karius has had a shaky start to life at Liverpool after he struggled to find his form at the beginning of the season. Luckily enough for Liverpool, Simon Mingolet has played well and has earned back the right to be the Red’s number one keeper. With that being said, it is great that Liverpool have Karius who is young (23 Years Old) and still has potential to be a special keeper, he has just struggled to adapt to Premier League play. Wijnaldum was an expensive transfer from Newcastle United, who at the time had recently been relegated from the Premier League down into the English Championship. A cheeky $25,000,000 transfer fee was enough for Newcastle to let the Dutch midfielder go. It has been an impressive season for the Dutchman. He has scored at some crucial times in big matches for the Red men, and so far this season, he has scored 5 times with 6 assists.
After Klopp brought in some much needed signings to Merseyside, we have also witnessed several players he inherited play with new found form. Adam Lallana, Phillipe Countinho, Roberto Firmino, Emre Can, and Nathaniel Clyne are just a few names that come to mind when it comes to players who really seem to be playing their best football under Klopp’s system. Countinho who has been brilliant this season both for club and country, just renewed his contract with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp until 2022. For Liverpool, that contract brought back the confidence that the Reds can keep top players at the club. Over the past year and a half, we have seen the young Brazilian develop a bigger role at the club and play his best football with the stats to back it up. Liverpool currently are sitting 3rd in the Premier League table with 66 points with Manchester City pressing hard on their heels with 65 points and a game in hand.
With Klopp only being in Merseyside for less than two seasons and his team already reaching a major European Final and currently pushing towards Champions League Qualification, we are seeing a lot of progress in a short amount of time. We are also really starting to see Klopp develop the youth here at Liverpool. Players like Divock Origi, Ben Woodburn, and Trent Alexander-Arnold have all seen getting time on the pitch under Klopp this season in the Premier League. Origi is only 21 and has seen several goals over the past year and half under Klopp, and Woodburn just became the youngest player ever to score for Liverpool during a match against Leeds in the EFL Cup this season. His goal takes the record from Liverpool Legend, Michael Owen. Alexander-Arnold who is a right back has seen Premier League minutes as well.
Klopp has had a noticeable effect in his short time at Liverpool and things seem to only be moving forward for the German mastermind. This kind of football is something we expected to see from him and he has definitely lived up to the high expectations set by most Liverpool fans. There is new era here now at Liverpool and it is one we the fans can not wait to see more of moving forward. There is a new Sheriff in town named Jurgen Klopp and he aims to put Liverpool back to their former Glory!