Liverpool may well be one of the biggest names in world football but they – alongside everyone else – knew that it was a huge footballing coup to unveil Jurgen Klopp as their new manager after the sacking of Brendan Rodgers.
Klopp has been lauded for a number of years as the ultimate tactical manager who also seemed accessible to the everyday fan and the Premier League. Where Pep Guardiola is held in high esteem, not many see him managing in the England any time soon. So getting Klopp can probably be regarded as the signing of the season. But what can Klopp do to turn Liverpool around and make them genuine trophy contenders once again?
It is not just a case of turning Liverpool’s season around – although that is obviously important – the whole club needs re-invigorating. Jamie Carragher stated recently that Klopp will need to make Liverpool a threat again and he is entirely correct. Manchester United used to have an air of invincibility in a way that not many other clubs have ever experienced – apart from the Liverpool side of the 1980s. Liverpool need to scare other clubs before they even get on the pitch.
One way Klopp can help forge an air of invincibility is to bring in new players. He may have his hands tied until the January transfer window but there are a number of positions that need looking at. Whereas it may be fanciful for Liverpool fans to dream about the likes of Robert Lewandowski teaming up with his former manager, it is more important that Klopp sorts out a porous defence. Lovren has been a huge disappointment but he will have to make do with Sakho and Skrtel for a couple of months before maybe bringing in Neven Subotic from Dortmund. A new keeper should also be a priority.
When Liverpool stunned everyone to finish second in the 2013/14 season Brendan Rodgers had his side playing a very attractive, high tempo, attacking style of football. This was discarded when he lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona at the end of that season, presumably the thinking being that he didn’t have the right players at his disposal. Klopp is well known for his high pressure gegenpress tactics and needs to re-introduce this to Liverpool if they are to be successful again. This may well need to be alongside bringing new players in but don’t be surprised if Klopp gets rid of established men who cannot adapt to his style.
Although the footballing world has changed beyond all recognition since Brian Clough’s day, one of his favourite stories was that winning the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1977 was one of his greatest achievements. For a manager who went on to win two European Cups that may sound strange but what Clough meant was that it gave his side that winning feeling – a belief that they can win trophies. Klopp doesn’t have the Champions League to contend with this season but you can only win what is in front of you. The league may be out of reach right now but he should be looking at the Europa League, the FA Cup and even the Capital One Cup as important competitions to kick start the Anfield revival.
Deal with the Press
Klopp may be the flavour of the month for the English media at the moment but they can soon turn. If Liverpool don’t kick into gear immediately there will soon be those ready to snipe at the German coach. Just because they lap up everything he says now does not mean that he will have that luxury for ever – just ask Jose Mourinho.
The arrival of Jurgen Klopp at Anfield is an excellent chance for Liverpool to consistently challenge for trophies once again. He is undoubtedly a tactical mastermind so it will be fascinating to see if he is able to bring success back to the club.