Profiling Jurgen Klopp: The Path To Liverpool

By: Jesus Cervantes and Carlos Rodriguez

On the brink of Liverpool’s losing streak, one man revives the hopes for the scousers. The “You’ll Never Walk Alone” Anthem plays as the the man in yellow shines the reds hops. One man, one hope, Jurgen Klopp.

The Dortmund Legacy

With watery eyes and a sad tone, Jurgen Klopp announced that he would leave Borussia Dortmund on July 1st, 2015, after 7 years as the head coach. The reality is that Dortmund had a horrible performance in the first half of last year’s season, ending in 7th place.

“I’ve always said if I felt I was no longer the perfect coach for this extraordinary club, I would say so,” Klopp said during his press conference. Yet, Dortmund fans will beg to differ with Klopp, as many call him the best coach Dor
tmund has ever had. Based on what Jurgen did at Dortmund, this statement is very true.

When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Signal Iduna Park in 2008, his magic as manager was immediately noticed. Klopp brought a new aggressive style of soccer in which his team was constantly looking to get possession of the ball (an aggressive form of pressing). In fact, Klopp onc
e stated that he likes heavy metal over classical music to show his preference in playing style.

During his first season in charge of the Bundesliga team, Klopp lead Dortmund to 6th place (7 places higher than the season before his arrival). In addition, Klopp led the Dortmund to win the T-Home Supercup against eternal rivals, Bayern Munich.

In his second season, Klopp had a less successful run with Dortmund, not winning any titles, but making the German giants finish off 5th on the Bundesliga table.

However, in his 2010-2012 seasons Dortmund was met with glory. Through 2010-2011, BVB was able to win the German league title. The season after that, Klopp led Dortmund to a 28 match unbeaten record (later broken by Bayern Munich). As a result, Dortmund once again won the Bundesliga title (back to back). To put icing on the cake, Dortmund lifted the DFB Pokal (German Cup) that same year, granting Dortmund their first “double”.

In 2012-2013, Klopp shifted his attention from domestic competitions, to the Champions League. Considering Dortmund was matched against rivals such as Real Madrid and Manchester City in the group stage, moving on to the next round was an accomplishment in its own right. But Dortmund did not stop there. They went on to defeat Real Madrid in the semi-finals with a 4-3 aggregate score, passing to the final. However, Bayern Munich crushed Dortmund’s dreams defeating them 2-1 with a last minute goal from Arjen Robben.

In his last season (2013-2014), Klopp did not exactly win anything. By that time, it was a death foretold. Klopp would leave Dortmund, the club to which he owed his career and led back to glory.

The Road So Far at Liverpool…

Jurgen Klopp began his era in the Premier League against a difficult opponent: Tottenham. However, both teams created very few chances and did not harm each other with 0-0 draw. In his next match as Liverpool manager, Klopp faced Rubin Kazan in the Europa League (his first match in Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium). Here Liverpool was much more offensive than in Tottenham, but lacked finishing and solid defending. For example, in the first 30 minutes of the game, Liverpool was being overwhelmed by Rubin Kazan’s constant approximations to the box. As a result, Liverpool conceded a goal first. However, when a Kazan defender was sent off for two yellow cards, the game shifted to Liverpool. Soon after Emre Can scored for Liverpool making the score 1-1. In the second half, Liverpool approached many times. In fact, Benteke gave a shot that bounced off the post. Thus, the score ended 1-1.

Having accumulated 2 draws, Klopp was desperate to get a win. In his second Premier League match, Klopp came close to getting that win. In this match against Southampton, the two teams were battling it out in the middle of the field for most of the match. However, the Belgian striker Christian Benteke opened up the score with a spectacular header. But in the 86th minute, Sadio Mané made it 1-1.

In his Capital One Cup game, Klopp met with victory against Bournemouth. Despite being a lower division team, Bournemouth put up a good face against Liverpool. Nevertheless, Nathaniel Clyne scored the only goal of the match to give the Reds their first victory in the Klopp era.

The next match (most recent) was a challenging game as Liverpool faced the defending champions Chelsea. However, Chelsea has had a disastrous start to the season, giving Liverpool some advantage. Yet, Chelsea scored the first goal early in the first half. However, towards the end of the first 45 minutes, Philippe Coutinho shot from outside the box and curved the ball into the net. After that goal, Liverpool controlled the match and Coutinho scored another goal, which was deflected off a Chelsea defender. Finally, Benteke scored the last goal to make the Reds win 3-1 and get their second victory in a row.

From the first match at White Hart Lane to his recent match in Anfield, Jurgen Klopp has shown change in the club as possession becomes keen and players are more persistent. In Klopp’s recent Press Conference he mentions the weakness and strengths in the club which are crucial to upcoming games. One of the important observations Klopp had made about the team is finishing. Every player has pace and develops opportunities but when it comes to scoring a goal all the chances and effort is useless. As a result, Klopp with his assistant manager, Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz, are going to enforce their players to train and practice on hitting targets.

Student Reactions

Upon his arrival to the BPL (Barclay’s Premier League), Klopp has caught the attention of many Premier League followers at APB. For the most part, their thoughts have been positive.

In fact, Jimmy Lopez (an Arsenal Fan) says, “Arsenal would have a new competition because Klopp could bring Liverpool to the top. I could see him winning the Europa League. Klopp has strict style and needs to adapt to the BPL.”

Similarly, other Liverpool rival fans also have good, but limited aspirations for the Reds.

“Jurgen Klopp is going to be a good fit for Liverpool: Klopp has good players to work with like Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. They are not going to win the BPL but they might win the Europa League,” said Sergio Reyes (a Manchester United Fan).

Overall, Liverpool seems to be picking up their pace and are slowly going up on the BPL standings. Yet, only time will tell if Klopp can return the Reds to glory.

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