A very difficult and interesting topic. Many Liverpool faithful think that in Klopp they have finally found the one who will lead them glory. And you can’t blame them. A recent 2-0 thrashing of bitter rivals Manchester United has only increased the belief in him. It was a game where they completely man handled the opponents. However there are many fans who still think that the German has yet to reach a level where he can be considered as a master class and thereby lead Liverpool to the glory that they have been waiting for. On 8 October 2015, Klopp agreed a three-year deal to become Liverpool manager, replacing Brendan Rodgers. He started his Liverpool career with a 0–0 away draw with Tottenham Hotspur on 17 October 2015.
I personally feel that the German is not near his best yet and accordingly he has a lot to do before it can be stated that he has turned it around for Liverpool. I give my opinion based on 2 points and let us have an in-depth look at them.
Like mentioned above, a 2-0 drubbing of Manchester United has increased the faith of supporters in Klopp. A result which has definitely made Liverpool a force to reckon with and also one of the favourites to win the Europa league. Then there is the double over Manchester City which included an impressive 3-0 home win and an outstanding 1-4 away win. There are also a couple of noteworthy matches like the 1-3 away win at Chelsea and the 4-5 away win at Norwich City. All of these matches have exactly showed us “Klopp – the heavy metal manager”. A name which he earned at Dortmund. A name which signifies the importance of attack in his teams. With big wins against big teams, Klopp has won the hearts of all the Liverpool fans.
But there are other results like the 1-2 loss to Crystal Palace, the 2-0 loss to Newcastle, the 3-0 loss to Watford, the 2-0 loss to West Ham. Losses to teams like this are exactly what define you in a premier league. You might win against the big ones, but you might end up losing against the small ones. Till the time Klopp figures out a way to tackle the tricky teams in the league, he cannot be figured as a great one who did the trick. There was the 1-0 home loss to Manchester United too. A loss which angered the Liverpool fan base. But it was a match where Liverpool was the better team. We can’t complain about those. Liverpool are currently seventh in the league and are three points behind Manchester United and have a game in hand. Yes, Klopp has had an impact at Liverpool since his arrival but he hasn’t completely turned it around for them. Having said that, next year might actually be theirs.
Style of Play:
Attacking, fast paced, runs on the counters and continuous forward pressing. This is the style that Klopp takes to a team. If you have followed Klopp’s regime at Dortmund or you access his matches at Liverpool closely, you’ll find his teams to live up to his trademark style. His teams press forward and pass around like a bunch of attacking wolves. They just keep hovering passes around you unless you finally succumb and allow them to score one or more against you. The same philosophy took Manchester City by surprise and eventually they ended up letting 4 goals inside their posts. Poor Pellegrini might not have assessed Klopp’s capability and got a shocker. The same philosophy is working for Liverpool in Europe as well. Liverpool team is still unbeaten in Europe under Klopp. His style seems to be one to reckon with and other managers are duly taking notice of it.
But there is a downside to his style. If you man mark his players and also give them possession at the same time, they don’t know what to do with it. Same thing happened with Dortmund in his final season. The other Bundesliga teams assessed his game play and allowed his teams more possession. A team which thrives on counter attacks and fast forward running gets confused when they get to see too much of the ball and don’t have that many chances to counter. If you analyse closely same thing has happened with Liverpool in EPL when they have lost or drawn matches. The moment they get too much of the ball and try to play possession football is the moment when they start to flutter. This is one area where Klopp needs to improve. Versatility is what he lacks. The moment he overcomes that he will become a great manager and Liverpool might as well become the best team in the league. Like I said above, next year might as well be theirs.