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Jurgen Klopp: The man who made the Reds believe in themselves again - by Jason Harris


Confidence is one of those intangibles in life, which has no middle ground. When you are at your peak level, you feel untouchable and think nothing can stop the momentum.

 

Conversely, when things are tough, it feels like the end of the world and things feel like they will never turn around in your favour.

 

Football clubs are certainly not immune to a 'crisis of confidence' and once it gets a foothold, you need everyone playing their part to help turn things around.

 

The mid part of this decade saw Liverpool in a malaise that they were struggling to get out of. The aftermath from the failed title run of 2013/4 hit the Reds like no one could imagine.

 

No matter which signings were made, or what tactics were altered, nothing seemed to click. This meant that the club was in a holding pattern with no signs of improvement on the horizon.

 

While the squad had some talent, it was clear that they were not being used in the right fashion and were not responding to those in charge. 14 months of footballing misery came to a head when a change of management was made.

 

From the first moment that the affable German Jurgen Klopp walked through the front doors at the Melwood complex, a bit of sun began to peak through from the dark clouds that had been hovering over the club.

 

While his introductory press conference offered no timeline of success, a sense of self-confidence was noticeable. He was also seen as someone who spoke the language that the common fan could relate to, rather than use bland cliches and empty promises.

 

While results were going to be important in the early part of the German's reign, arguably his biggest job was to boost the spirits of the talented but greatly underperforming and disheartened playing group.

 

Results were naturally hit-and-miss in the early stages, a clear statement of intent away to Manchester City, was soon followed by a sobering reality check against Newcastle.

 

That pattern continued for much of that season, but the growing spirit amongst the squad was evident such as the crazy 5-4 game at Carrow Road where the team composed themselves from being 3-1 down to claim the three points courtesy of a Adam Lallana goal with the last kick of the game.

 

The spirit was enhanced by an engaging Europa League run which led to an improbable berth in the final. While that game led to more heartbreak, no fan would forget where they were when the Reds produced another thrilling comeback performance against Dortmund in the quarter-finals and a mature one against Villarreal in the semis.

 

Having improved the morale no end, Klopp now needed to work on the overall consistency of the teams' performance.

 

For as long as you could remember, smaller teams were able to put nine or ten men behind the ball and stifle the life out of the attacking threat that Liverpool had whether they were playing at Anfield or indeed on their home turf. They certainly were basic tactics but were a proven success.

 

At the end of last season when results against stubborn opposition were required to seal a top-four berth, we finally saw the grit and resilience needed to overcome those previous failures and achieve the main goal.

 

Turning to the current day, and the confidence that was so lacking two and a half years ago is now approaching unprecedented levels.

 

From the outside, the team unity amongst the squad seems to be outstanding. When Philippe Coutinho was sold in January, the doomsayers were out in force thinking that the bottom would fall out of the club once again.

 

However, under the stewardship of the German, the Reds are made from much greater substance.

 

He has made some big calls this season such as keeping full faith in Trent Alexander-Arnold when there were calls to take him out of the firing line and that decision has certainly paid dividends.

 

He has emboldened Andrew Robertson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to play with their instinct and take the game on, and both have been richly rewarded for their ability to do so.

 

He has put full faith in his fellow German Loris Karius after alternating between him and Simon Mignolet between the sticks for the first half of this season and Karius has delivered with some fine performances.

 

According to some, the days of James Milner as a midfielder were as good as done. However Klopp had other ideas and put his faith in the veteran to prove the doubters wrong. Ever the pro, Milner has delivered in spades. So much so, that there have calls for the veteran to reverse his decision of international retirement.

 

When you have a glance at the last team sheet of the Brendan Rodgers tenure on the fourth of October of 2015, you realise the true evolution that Klopp has overseen in his tenure.

 

However, it should be remembered we are still a side with a fair bit of improvement in us, which having seen the progress we have already made is a pretty exciting realisation.

 

Liverpool have signed some incredible players in their history, but in time when we look back at the appointment of Klopp, it may well be viewed as a monumental moment for this great club.

 

Jason Harris

@JayHarry80


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50 Comments

Thats s good read, but any chance you could post that last Rodgers line up you mentioned?
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Mignolet
Can
Skrtel
Sakho
Clyne
Milner
Lucas
Coutinho
Moreno
Sturridge
Ings

Substitutes:
Gomez
Lallana
Allen
Origi
Ibe
Bogdan
Rossiter
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Wow. Yep, some difference in that relatively short time, isn’t there.
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Yeah, I’m assuming Lovren and Firmino were injured for that game but the fact we’ve stopped signing shit players has helped enormously.
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Good article, thanks. It was the first thing Jurgen said when he arrived: Believe. 

 

It hasn't all been smooth. Fans have gone 25+ years waiting for the title, and so we have had a tendency to be a little battle weary, and suspicious of another false dawn. And Klopp has chastised fans on one or two occasions along the way for not supporting as loudly as they might, and fans have taken offense at that. But those minor niggles are behind us now, and the sense of progress is clear. 

 

We haven't won anything under Klopp yet, but hopefully we put that right sooner rather than later, and no.6 would be very nice indeed. 

 

The way we play is fantastic, and we have the players to take anyone on. I remember the timidity we showed at Real Madrid under Rodgers, and it signaled the wrong thing. It said "I know we can't beat you, so I'm trying to limit the damage and manage my resources." 

 

Those days are gone, and the reds are marching up the hill. Adding some depth in the summer will hopefully help us fight for that title next season. 

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I remember the grumbling & the piss taking over the WBA curtain call & calling the crowd out , but Klopp has changed the atmosphere completely at Anfield.

 

The only matchgoer who has got quieter appears to be John Brennan.

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There are still some on here just waiting for Klopp to trip up especially as he seems to have faith in players they want moved on.

 

I have lots of faith and hope in Jurgen. He will stand or fall by his methods and results. Football is fickle and not even he can gaurantee trophies. Whatever the outcome the ride is so much more enjoyable now.

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Whatever happened to John Brennan?
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Whatever happened to John Brennan?


I came to the conclusion that he's waiting until the end of the season when we lose the final or semi final and come out with a big foam finger pointing at everybody, saying how he told them so.
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The many positions that are still very easily improved on is what makes this team all the more exciting.

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I came to the conclusion that he's waiting until the end of the season when we lose the final or semi final and come out with a big foam finger pointing at everybody, saying how he told them so.


Sounds about right.
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Whatever happened to John Brennan?

 

 

Know the name but can't remember the context?

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Parklife!

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Know the name but can't remember the context?


He thought Klopp was pretty rubbish and wrote a sneering article calling him “cheerleader-in-chief”. Lots of people called him out and he had a bit of a strop.
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And he’s never been seen since
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Know the name but can't remember the context?

 

http://www.liverpool...n-brennan-r1315

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He thought Klopp was pretty rubbish and wrote a sneering article calling him “cheerleader-in-chief”. Lots of people called him out and he had a bit of a strop.

 

 

That's the bloke.

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Whatever happened to John Brennan?

He writes under his alter ego - Dave U

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Reading that again wow! and strontium Dog being one of the few to agree with it... No surprise there then.

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Reading that again wow! and strontium Dog being one of the few to agree with it... No surprise there then.


I think SD was still suffering a Bodgers hangover back then so we shouldn't be too hard on him.
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There were some valid criticisms of him at the time, anyone wanting rid was obviously batshit crazy though.

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I think SD was still suffering a Bodgers hangover back then so we shouldn't be too hard on him.

 

 

I'm no Stronts defender but he was as sick of Rodgers as the rest of us iirc. 

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http://www.liverpool...n-brennan-r1315


Reading that back, isn’t it funny how most of the nobheads defending/agreeing with him have disappeared recently?
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Reading that back, isn’t it funny how most of the nobheads defending/agreeing with him have disappeared recently?

 

johnb himself has only posted on the post-match 1-4 to Spurs and 0-1 to Swansea since writing the article. Seems like he cared more about making his point than seeing the team do well. Disappointing that someone like that gets a platform such as this one. 

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Haha, I'd forgotten about that

Even at the time it was spectacularly stupid.... with the benefit of hindsight it's off the scale retard

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