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"A lot can change in 12 months, and it has!" - by John Brennan


“We’re half-way there.” Well, not quite. But any chance I get to fit a Bon Jovi lyric into an article and all that! Ah, Jon Bon Jovi…sorry, I need a moment…
 

I suppose that in the glowing aftermath of an injury-time derby victory (Oh Mané!), it’s always easier to be upbeat! But in all objectivity, we are entitled to be upbeat, especially if you turn the clocks back precisely a year.

 

December 20th, 2015. Anything special about that day for you? Need some help? Okay, so here are a few hints. Vicarage. Bogdan. Skrtel. Meltdown. Bullied. Out-run. Out-played. Out-thought.

 

On that day, I didn’t know what to make of Klopp and where he was taking us. We finished the day ninth in the table, with a goal difference of minus two and things were as bleak as they had looked under Brendan. Hilariously, we were still above the Blues (Oh Mané!).

 

The initial flurry when Klopp had arrived, especially against Chelsea and City, seemed to be the exception and days like that at Watford the norm. Newcastle a couple of weeks beforehand and West Ham a couple of weeks later meant that there was always an apprehension about that team.

 

“That” team or “this” team? I’m still not sure, as days like Burnley have shown us this season. But I think we have to give the players and Klopp the benefit of the doubt. This, I feel, is a team that we can start trusting. A team that we don’t feel angry with when they come off the park. Even when we’ve slipped up this season, I couldn’t get angry.

 

Frustration, certainly, given that had we finished the job against Bournemouth and West Ham, we could be talking about a serious title challenge. But those dropped points were down to individual goal-keeping errors.

 

The bare-facts comparison with this day last year show how far we’ve come. After 17 games we had 24 points and this season we’ve already got 37!

 

Over the course of the season, that should translate into an extra 25-30 points. We had to wait until the 14th of February to reach 38 points last season. We are literally two months ahead of last season! And probably the most telling statistics of them all: in 2015-2016, we had scored 20 goals and conceded 22. This season we’ve scored 41 and conceded 20!

 

Bogdan; Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Lucas; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino. That’s the team that started against Watford. (Mignolet was injured). If everyone had been fit for the derby (Oh Mané!), five of that starting line-up against Watford would have been in there (Clyne, Hendo, Adam, Coutinho and Bobby). So, we have literally changed half a team in a year!

 

Of course, things aren’t perfect. How could they be with so many changes? But we certainly look better at the back. Matip looks more and more assured by the week. Lovren is starting to look like a proper defender. Milner has defied us all and has been one of our best players this season. And it’s up ahead where things have really come together.

 

Hendo is outstanding. He’s revelling in the role of captain (on and off the park, we should be proud of this lad). Mané (Oh Mané!) brings something we haven’t had for a long time: power, pace, strength, energy, goals from wide. Adam is like a new signing. There’s competition for places too. Big Div is ace and once Daniel gets fit (arf!), who knows how far we could go?

 

So the half-term report? Largely positive, even though Klopp needs to wind his neck in a bit. His antics on the line smack of Gérard’s “in ‘supporter’ is the word ‘support’”. We don’t need a cheerleader, just a manager. If he’s facing the crowd, he’s not doing his job. He could do with reining in the media stuff too. His ‘spat’ with the Nevilles was shambolic. In what parallel universe did he think that would be a good idea? And turning up on ‘Monday Night Football’ too? Stay at home. Have an ale.

 

We look set for a decent season. The title could be elusive (cf. 2013-14 when we were unbelievable but came up short against an unreal City side). For City then, read Chelsea now. We’ll be a year further along in this ‘project’ next year but will probably have the extra burden of European Cup games in midweek.

 

He’ll have to buy to strengthen. But I trust him to spend well. Trust. Something you can have in this team. Merry Christmas? Mané happy returns.

 

John Brennan


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38 Comments

Load of bollocks.
    • 5
Good post and I agree with all of it... apart from the third to last paragraph. I love Klopp just the way he is. He is good for he game and GREAT for us. The celebrations are fine. And if he wants to defend his goalkeeper and have a pop at Neville, be my guest. He's said his piece and it won't linger or distract from anything.

Onwards and upwards. And I don't want Klopp to change a thing about himself.
    • 10

Couldnt agree more Tony. Klopp 'needs to wind his neck in'? The actual fuck?

 

I actually like a manager who celebrates like fuck every time the team scores a goal or, gets pissed off and angry when the crowd doesnt get behind the team when the oppos are proving tough to open up.

    • 5

Obviously it seems some haven't learned from the previous folly of making managers utterly infallible.

    • -1
You mentioned one player a few times too Mané.
    • 0

Obviously it seems some haven't learned from the previous folly of making managers utterly infallible.

From my perspective Klopp is not infallible. I'd like him to change the timing of his substitutions a bit, as on a footballing level they seem a bit late sometimes. But that's a minor quibble considering the significant improvement in the side.

The things the article pulled him up on - his excitable touchline demeanor, plus his media work - chiefly the spat with Neville, were a bit unfair in my view, especially in such a positive post. I love his passion on the touchline, and I also love the fact that he defended his goalkeeper and had a pop at Neville.

I don't think he needs to wind his neck in. My understanding of the phrase is that it's a bit disrespectful to say it about our manager. It's the sort of thing that would apply to some no mark kicking off in the pub over nothing.

It was a good article and I am very much on board with the positivity about the progress we're seeing. But again, the third paragraph from the end seemed wide of the mark to me, but I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say Klopp is infallible, as obviously he isn't.

Mind you, I can't think of another manager I'd swap him for. He is a great fit for Liverpool.
    • 6

From my perspective Klopp is not infallible. I'd like him to change the timing of his substitutions a bit, as on a footballing level they seem a bit late sometimes. But that's a minor quibble considering the significant improvement in the side.

The things the article pulled him up on - his excitable touchline demeanor, plus his media work - chiefly the spat with Neville, were a bit unfair in my view, especially in such a positive post. I love his passion on the touchline, and I also love the fact that he defended his goalkeeper and had a pop at Neville.

I don't think he needs to wind his neck in. My understanding of the phrase is that it's a bit disrespectful to say it about our manager. It's the sort of thing that would apply to some no mark kicking off in the pub over nothing.

It was a good article and I am very much on board with the positivity about the progress we're seeing. But again, the third paragraph from the end seemed wide of the mark to me, but I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say Klopp is infallible, as obviously he isn't.

Mind you, I can't think of another manager I'd swap him for. He is a great fit for Liverpool.

 

I thought it was a little bit childish to make the comment inferring Neville was a failure as a manager, only then to agree with his judgement by dropping the keeper anyway.

 

RE: His antics, I don't think John was referring to his excitable celebrations, more his giving out to the crowd when he deems they're reacting in ways he thinks are counter productive. 

    • 0

From my perspective Klopp is not infallible. I'd like him to change the timing of his substitutions a bit, as on a footballing level they seem a bit late sometimes. But that's a minor quibble considering the significant improvement in the side.

The things the article pulled him up on - his excitable touchline demeanor, plus his media work - chiefly the spat with Neville, were a bit unfair in my view, especially in such a positive post. I love his passion on the touchline, and I also love the fact that he defended his goalkeeper and had a pop at Neville.

I don't think he needs to wind his neck in. My understanding of the phrase is that it's a bit disrespectful to say it about our manager. It's the sort of thing that would apply to some no mark kicking off in the pub over nothing.

It was a good article and I am very much on board with the positivity about the progress we're seeing. But again, the third paragraph from the end seemed wide of the mark to me, but I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say Klopp is infallible, as obviously he isn't.

Mind you, I can't think of another manager I'd swap him for. He is a great fit for Liverpool.

 

Spot on.  Saying Klopp should "wind his neck in" is something an Everton or United supporter would say.

    • 1

I thought it was a little bit childish to make the comment inferring Neville was a failure as a manager, only then to agree with his judgement by dropping the keeper anyway.

RE: His antics, I don't think John was referring to his excitable celebrations, more his giving out to the crowd when he deems they're reacting in ways he thinks are counter productive.


How did we lose out in any way from him doing either of those things? Quite the opposite, in fact.

Protecting his players and creating a decent atmosphere. What a bastard.
    • 7
Need a leader on the field as well as on the sidelines. Sometimes I wonder if Klopp is able to deliver that or whether his massive personality and natural leaning towards a team of equals will prevent it. Otherwise, he's great.

I reckon Shankly would have shut the Nevilles up so I'm pretty ok with that aspect of him
    • 1
Klopp should never 'wind his neck in,' thats a stupid thing to say as when he has had a go at supporters he has been correct for doing it and its had positive results.
It also still surprises me that people act as though they had never heard of Klopp before he came here and are surprised at how well he is doing,I for one fully expected this and its why I reckon Klopp has been our best appointment of the FSG era,even more fruitful than Suarez for me. He's a top,top manager who we are fortunate to have. We still need to give him a bit more time though as he is a manager who plans long term,not just on a short term basis.
    • 7

!

    • -1

Need a leader on the field as well as on the sidelines. Sometimes I wonder if Klopp is able to deliver that or whether his massive personality and natural leaning towards a team of equals will prevent it. Otherwise, he's great.

I reckon Shankly would have shut the Nevilles up so I'm pretty ok with that aspect of him


Absolutely and you can be sure that Ferguson would have done exactly what Klopp did if someone had had a go at one of his players. For me it wasn't so much what Neville said, what was truly pathetic was the inferior Neville putting his tuppence worth in, that made it look they were ganging up on Karius.

The press reaction has mostly been that Klopp was right to do what he did, have a pop at the critics and back his player, but then to take the player out of the team as his performances hadn't been good enough. Text book stuff for me.

I also think Klopp is boss and wouldn't change him for any other manager out there, but I certainly don't think he is beyond reproach.
    • 3

Klopp needs to wind his neck in a bit. His antics on the line smack of Gérard’s “in ‘supporter’ is the word ‘support’”. We don’t need a cheerleader, just a manager. If he’s facing the crowd, he’s not doing his job. He could do with reining in the media stuff too. His ‘spat’ with the Nevilles was shambolic. In what parallel universe did he think that would be a good idea? And turning up on ‘Monday Night Football’ too? Stay at home. Have an ale.

 

Nope

    • 1

Nope

 

Seriously though, why is he going on Monday Night Football in the first place? Just keep your own counsel rather than telling the entire country how you're doing what you're doing.

    • 0
Why should Klopp "wind his neck in" at all? Rubbish!
    • 1
I don't know what any of this means
    • 0

Seriously though, why is he going on Monday Night Football in the first place? Just keep your own counsel rather than telling the entire country how you're doing what you're doing.


It was just a bit of fun. I enjoyed it, didn't you?
    • 2

It was just a bit of fun. I enjoyed it, didn't you?

 

For me it reminded me a little too bit of Rodgers. Few good results and then basking in how it was done. I'd rather he not to be honest.

    • -1
Well, I quite enjoy hearing from him, personally. I don't think it was in the least bit self congratulatory.
    • 0

I haven't got a clue why Klopp went on MNF. Maybe he was invited? Maybe Carra reached out and since there's a bond with the club there, he thought he would accept? If he's on it every week and results take a turn for the worse, fine, speak out about it.

 

I've heard three complaints about the manager in this thread:

 

1. Pitch side manner, including geeing up the crowd (justified)

2. Having a pop at Neville (justified)

3. Going on MNF (couldn't care less what he does in his own time, but as a Liverpool fan it's always interesting to see our manager and I liked it)

 

It was a decent opening post that was very positive, on the whole, but the complaints about the manager are wide of the mark. 

 

Jurgen is ace. We're doing well. I don't understand the need to pick at it. 

    • 0

So, in this thread:

1) I've been compared to an Evertonian

2) I've been compared to a Manc

3) Klopp has been compared to Shankly

4) Ferguson has been upheld as a model for whomever the manager of Liverpool Football Club is

5) Klopp has been credited with "creating" the atmosphere at Anfield

 

Ooooooookkkkkkkkkkk...

 

Listen, the above is tongue-in-cheek (sort of)...

 

But I stand by what I said. He's done loads of good things, but he's not beyond reproach.

 

The media/press couldn't give a shit about us and will be praying/preying for his head, when things go awry.

 

Keep the entertainment to the park (which, in fairness, his teams have been doing).

 

I like him. Might even start calling him "Jürgen" soon!

    • 0

So, in this thread:
1) I've been compared to an Evertonian
2) I've been compared to a Manc
3) Klopp has been compared to Shankly
4) Ferguson has been upheld as a model for whomever the manager of Liverpool Football Club is
5) Klopp has been credited with "creating" the atmosphere at Anfield

Ooooooookkkkkkkkkkk...

Listen, the above is tongue-in-cheek (sort of)...

But I stand by what I said. He's done loads of good things, but he's not beyond reproach.

The media/press couldn't give a shit about us and will be praying/preying for his head, when things go awry.

Keep the entertainment to the park (which, in fairness, his teams have been doing).

I like him. Might even start calling him "Jürgen" soon!


Nobody has said he's beyond reproach, but the shit you're criticising him for is fucking stupid. He's experienced enough and smart enough to not need someone to tell him how to act.
    • 0

Nobody has said he's beyond reproach, but the shit you're criticising him for is fucking stupid. He's experienced enough and smart enough to not need someone to tell him how to act.


This.
    • 0
I think the root of the hostility is the misuse of 'wind your neck in'. It does not mean 'be careful'. It means (with apologies to Hand Shandy) 'stop being a cunt'. See also: 'arl arse' does not mean 'arsehole', it means you are being sly; all woolybacks are out-of-towners but not all out-of-towners are woolybacks; and scally is not something you call a friend.

Them scousers again.
    • 1