I have read both parts on the Echo earlier and I thought it would be worth posting and reading here. Should the Echo create another part? and I will add it to this page? Apologies for the extra long posting.
Link: Part One
Three of our regular contributors offer their thoughts on Klopp’s first year at Liverpool.
Regular readers will know that every week we ask respected Liverpool bloggers, fan writers and supporters for their thoughts on all things Red.
Well this week, we have a special edition.
With it being Jurgen Klopp’s one year “anniversary” at Anfield, we’ve asked three of our contributors for their thoughts on the German’s time on Merseyside.
Oli Bond, Anfield HQ founder
As we approach Jurgen Klopp’s one year anniversary in charge at Liverpool Football Club, this international break is a good time to reflect on what has certainly been a rollercoaster of a last 12 months.
When Klopp arrived on Merseyside there was a big emphasis on ‘heavy-metal’ football, and I think from a personal point of view, being lucky enough to travel all over Europe watching the Reds, there has’t been much of a chance to come up for air!
I remember walking out of Goodison Park this time last year, and despite a good point at Everton, the entire club and fanbase were in disarray, the mentality of the club was awful, and the situation had got so bad that comparisons were even being drawn to the Hodgson era.
Brendan Rodgers applauds the crowd at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool – his final games as Liverpool FC manager.
From squeezing past Carlisle United on penalties to getting humiliated at home to West Ham, Liverpool were at their lowest point in years. I genuinely believe only one man could have come in and transformed the mood at Anfield and that’s the same man who’s leading Liverpool today.
Klopp has not only changed fortunes on the pitch, but he’s transformed an entire mentality of a football club, from the players, to the fans, to the owners, he’s done what he told everyone he had to do and he’s changed doubters to believers.
Getting to two finals in his first seven months in charge, one being a European one as well, was testament to the progress that’s been made at the club, and although Liverpool came home empty-handed in both, the foundations were put in place last year to kick on.
Of course it hasn’t been plain sailing, there have been a few issues; injuries, the atmosphere at Anfield, the ticket price protest, the Sakho saga and in particular Klopp’s decision-making in the Europa League final last May. But for the first time in years Liverpool fans have confidence in their own club again.
We’ve had a very good summer, both in terms of incomings and outgoings, and the players Klopp has brought into Liverpool look a perfect fit, especially Sadio Mané who couldn’t have asked for a better start to life at Anfield.
The summer also brought the opening of the new Main Stand which is a brilliant addition, and everything feels good at Liverpool Football Club. The start to the season has been very strong, and huge credit has to be given to Klopp and his backroom team, because as I have stated above, a football club’s entire mentality has been changed in just 12 months, and it’s really all down to one man.
Carl Clemente, LFC History
Nobody’s arrival at Liverpool has made such an emphatic impact on the football club since Rafael Benitez joined in 2004. We now have one of Europe’s top managers and I expect the football club to go from strength to strength.
Although, he can’t really be judged on the team’s performance during the 2015/2016 campaign, as he joined after it had already started, he still guided us to a domestic and European final, which was more than Brendan Rodgers achieved in his four years at the helm. His arrival was welcomed by all and quite frankly couldn’t have come soon enough, as Rodgers’ time was well and truly up.
Klopp’s summer clear out was the biggest in the club’s history, getting rid of most of the deadwood that Rodgers left behind, as well as adding strong additions of his own. The 2016/2017 team is ‘a Jurgen Klopp side’, though obviously there will be more changes to come as a manager can’t completely re-build his squad in just two transfer windows.
However, we are currently sitting fourth in the table just two points behind leaders Manchester City, in what so far has been Liverpool’s joint-third best start to a Premier league season since its creation in 1992.
Over the last year we have learnt a lot about the German and his love of football and being a football manager. He has totally transformed the way we play and has injected new life into the players and arguably more importantly, given us the supporters fresh hope for the future.
His man management skills are exceptional and he is making players believe in their own ability, for example Adam Lallana. Moreover, his style of football is exciting, a pleasure to watch and hair-raising at times.
Klopp is a charismatic individual and has an aura about him which undoubtedly has rubbed off onto the players. The energy and dedication he shows from the touch-line is transmitted onto the field of play. He has brought back the ‘fear factor’ that many of the great Liverpool sides of the past have possessed and which many of recent times have been lacking.
It is still too early to say how successful I think his reign will be. Nevertheless, so far so good, and only time will tell. Nonetheless, at the moment the Reds are flying! If I was asked at the start of the season would I take 4th place? Without a shadow of a doubt, under Brendan Rodgers I would bite anyone’s hand off.
However, now I feel different. With Jurgen Klopp as our manager we are now going into every game with one objective, three points! No matter who we are facing.
Jurgen Klopp signs in as new manager of Liverpool with Ian Ayre chief executive, on October 9, 2015.
Sean Rogers, The Anfield Wrap
His first season in charge has to be deemed a success this far. A- would be a fair grade!
Settling in to a new country – both in terms of the football and off the pitch lifestyle – can’t be easy especially mid season.
Losing two cup finals is obviously disappointing but it seems key lessons were learnt along the way. We’ve seen Klopp change his formation and style during the course of the last 12 months and everyone is, rightly, excited by the start to the season with obvious room for improvement.
We need to improve dramatically at set pieces and be a lot more ruthless in both penalty areas.
Klopp’s ability to learn along the way and adapt is his biggest strength. As an example he was anti loaning of young players (understandably) but has then subsequently this summer loaned a number of youngsters out.
This is not a man obsessed with ideal. He’s obsessed with winning and how is the best way to win. Added to his infectious personality and charisma he is currently riding the crest of a wave.
Link: Part Two
Jimmy Pilnick, Huyton
Jürgen Klopp has 100% restored the notion that the manager is the figurehead of Liverpool FC. A club that lacked leadership before his arrival now has it in abundance. This is Klopp’s team and Klopp’s ethos. The buck stops with him. Behind the joviality is a smart, ruthless operator – just ask Ibe and Sakho, to name two.
His first league finish was lower than his predecessor’s last, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story. Two finals were reached, and those memorable Anfield nights against the Mancs, Dortmund and Villarreal whetted the appetite for more.
On the back of his first pre season, 2016-2017 Liverpool look a different beast. We might not have a Suarez or a Gerrard at his peak, but Klopp’s philosophy is about the team, not over relying on individuals.
In Coutinho, Lallana, Mane and Firmino, we possess a front four ******** with pace, flair and work-rate, and they’re all match winners. Then there’s Sturridge, Ings and Origi waiting in the wings.
Liverpool FC vs Hull City at Anfield. Liverpool’s Adam Lallana scores the first goal & celebrates with Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Philippe Coutinho.
Goals are coming from all over the team. It’s early days, and there are still issues to be ironed out (a clean sheet in the league would be nice!) but the football has been a joy to watch as opponents have been steam-rolled.
Last season it took us until mid December to score nine home league goals; we’ve managed that in two games this time around! It’s great to be counting down the days between games. The feelgood factor is back!
Jay Riley, Litherland
One year on since Jurgen Klopp took over the reigns at Anfield and what a 12 months it’s been. How can you not love the big German? He’s charasmatic, entertaining and a major thing that I like the most, passionate.
His tenure so far has not been without its teething problems, which was to be expected, defensively we’ve still looked vulnerable at times, but to get Liverpool to two Cup Finals in your first season in charge, is superb.
Jurgen Klopp celebrates the win during the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg match between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on April 14, 2016.
We might have lost both of those opportunities to win a trophy, but the signal it sent out was that the Reds are back, we now have a manager who is a world class operator and this season so far has proved that.
In a summer when clubs have spent money like confetti, Klopp has been savvy in the transfer market and turned Liverpool into a better squad, improving many of the existing players and now giving us all genuine belief that we can be serious title contenders again. He’s brought back the feelgood factor and the attitude that we fear nobody in any game of football.
I also believe that a big plus in football is having a good manager, someone who is tactically aware and also commands the respect of the players, in Klopp we certainly have that.
He’s a match made in heaven for this football club and our fans, I’m sure silverware awaits us in the many years to come under his management.
Graham Agg, Netherton
As we approach the anniversary of Jurgen Klopp taking the Anfield hot seat – it is nothing short of staggering at the impact he has made during those first 12 months.
At the end of Brendan Rodgers’ reign at Anfield, which ended with a drab 1-1 draw at Goodison in October 2015, there was still a distinct feeling of just what might have been after the amazing 2013/14 season when Liverpool FC should have won the league.
After finishing sixth the following season of 2014/15, there was a distinct air of gloom and doom around Anfield as a sizeable amount of the LFC support doubted whether Brendan Rodgers could take us to the next level.
Jurgen Klopp is unveiled at the new Liverpool Fc manager, at Anfield, on a three year deal. The German replaces the sacked Brendan Rodgers.
After the dismissal of Northern Irishman Rodgers came the breaking news that Liverpool had approached the maverick and hugely successful ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp to become the 21st manager of LFC.
Klopp arrived at the press conference at Anfield on October 8, 2015 like a breath of fresh air, grinning hugely from ear to ear, it was clear from the outset that this was a hugely impressive charismatic individual with a spellbinding personality to match his very impressive CV.
Since that impressive first day, Klopp has completely transformed the club, both on and off the field. He began by turning doubters amongst the fans in to believers. He showed his annoyance, quite rightly, at the fans who walked out of Anfield early after a late Southampton equaliser at Anfield in a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool’s Emre Can celebrates victory with manager Jurgen Klopp (left) after the Barclays Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Brilliant Premier league victories followed, 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, 4-1 at The Etihad, 6-1 at Southampton in the League Cup, 4-0 versus city rivals Everton, but the most stunning performances were reserved for the UEFA Europa League with victories in the knock out stages versus FC Augsburg (1-0 on aggregate) and our fierce rivals Man Utd (3-1 on aggregate).
The greatest triumph however during Klopp’s first 12 months at Anfield was surely knocking out crack German outfit and Klopp’s old club Borussia Dortmund. After a hugely impressive 1-1 draw in the Westfalen Stadion in Germany came the return at Anfield that will go down in Anfield folklore, turning a 0-2 and 1-3 deficit on the night in to a stunning 4-3 victor.
It took LFC into the semi finals versus Villareal from Spain who were duly thumped 3-1 on aggregate to reach the Europa League final in Basle, Switzerland.
The big disappointment during the first 12 months were the defeats at Wembley on penalties versus Man City in the League Cup final and naturally the 1-3 reverse in the Europa League final in Basle v FC Seville.
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – MAY 18: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool consoles Emre Can at the award ceremoy after the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.
Nevertheless, it was clear that big things were happening at Anfield. Players previously playing with little or no confidence were transformed by Klopp. Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Joe Allen, Divock Origi among others were playing with renewed confidence and it is clear that one of Klopp’s true talents is his fantastic motivational skills.
I believe it was a masterstroke by Messrs Henry, Werner and Ian Ayre to attract a world class ********** talent to Anfield, who should be quite rightly praised to the hilt for their determination to bring the best manager available to Anfield.
It is not just the players who Klopp has educated, he has done the same with the fans, urging once again for the famous Anfield atmosphere to be heard more regularly and encouraging his players to celebrate victories with the fans as they do so regularly in Germany.
Top pro James Milner recently stated that Klopp is the best manager he has played under during his distinguished playing career, and those sentiments can be regularly heard from players at Dortmund and Mainz.
The future at Anfield looks more than promising as Jurgen continues to bring the best out of the players, week in, week out, but don’t be fooled by that beaming Klopp smile.
Borussia Dortmund v Liverpool FC in the UEFA Europa League at the Westfalenstadion,Germany. Jurgen Klopp with Mamadou Sakho att he final whistle.
Behind the cheery face lies a man determined to lead Liverpool back to the glory days. He is no-one’s fool, just ask fans cult hero Mamadou Sakho.
No-one will match Bill Shankly but Jurgen Klopp reminds me of Shankly in his outlook on the game. Klopp like Shanks, just loves the game of football, neither men are motivated by money and the riches the game can bring and after the recent fiasco with the ex-England manger Allardyce, among many others, what a refreshing change that is in today’s game.
Klopp like Shanks, is so very passionate about the players and the fans and both men have a charismatic and forceful personality that inspire their players to great things.
Make no mistake Jurgen Klopp could have had his pick of clubs to join throughout Europe but I believe he chose Anfield because he can identify with the Liverpool fans’ passion for the game and their club, as it matches his own.
He is without doubt the perfect fit for Liverpool FC. The legendary Bill Shankly was once quoted as saying “I was made for Liverpool and Liverpool was made for me” but without a doubt that same quote also be said about Jürgen Norbert Klopp.