Aaron Curry discusses how a turbulent season under Jürgen Klopp bodes well for the future despite disappointment.
After FSG had severed their ties with former manager Brendan Rodgers, it left all Liverpool fans pondering what the next move would be. In recent times, the fans have endured an emotional rollercoaster but the feel-good factor was few and far between. The only recent success had been the League Cup in the 2011/12 season – albeit a very satisfying victory over Cardiff at Wembley. Illustrious European nights and frantic title races had become a distant memory for the fans, however when Jürgen Klopp was appointed in early October, he arrived with a reputation and belief that he could take us back to the top. Instantly, fans started to believe.
Klopp was initially at the helm of the mid-table, Bundesliga team Mainz 05 where he spent most of his early career . He helped them to the German first-division before parting ways shortly afterwards. He then received an offer from Borrusia Dortmund, where he became famous for his passion and antics on the touchline. He helped to rebuild them by signing soon to be world-class talents Mario Gotzë, Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski. They won the Bundesliga in two consecutive seasons, and they reached a UCL final only to be beaten in a pulsating game, at the hands of an Arjen Robben’s dramatically late winner.
Clearly, Klopp endured some magnificent moments as the manager of Dortmund, but he left at the end of the 2014/15 season in order to take a well-deserved sabbatical. However on the 8th October, 2015 Jürgen Klopp cut his sabbatical short and became the manager of Liverpool Football Club. He stated:
“For me this is one of the biggest clubs in the world and to give me this opportunity, yes, to try to help in a situation that is not so difficult like all the people in the room feel. It is not the perfect moment of course but I feel it is a good moment to come here and I feel really proud.”
Klopp took charge of his first game in a stalemate at White Hart Lane; which looking back on, doesn’t seem like a bad result at all. Two more draws followed against Rubin Kazan and Southampton. The squad then travelled to Stamford Bridge where we demolished them 3-1. Our little magician, Philippe Coutinho, conjured up two of the highest quality finishes which left not only the opposition, but even some of our own fans stunned. This result was a statement of intent from Liverpool and it showed the talent which we possess.
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Klopp built on this throughout the season with other big results in the Premier League. Notable wins against Manchester City, Norwich and deadly rivals Everton and Manchester United only strengthened the hypothesis that we could be a deadly force next season. Undoubtedly, in the most Liverpool way possible we suffered defeat at the hands of much smaller clubs.
Along with this, we threw away a vast amount of points after letting winning positions slip through our fingers. The most obvious game was at Southampton, where a Sadio Mané master class allowed them to crawl back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2. Arguably, these events wouldn’t have occurred if Martin Skrtel had stayed on the subs bench. Klopp got it wrong.
It certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom for Liverpool. With Klopp being in charge for approximately 7 months, nobody could have foreseen that we would reach two cup finals; but that’s exactly what we did. Playing one of the best teams in England, and current Europa League champions Manchester City and Sevilla respectively. We fell short on both occasions, losing on penalties to City, and 3-1 to Sevilla.
Despite the negative rush of emotions and anger which followed both defeats, there was no argument that we didn’t deserve to be in those finals. Things still looked positive for Jürgen and Liverpool. There was clearly a golden sky at the end of the storm.
Now with the season at its conclusion, January signings Joel Matip and Marko Grujic will soon be arriving at Melwood for their new life in Liverpool. These solid players will no doubt boost the squad’s core further. The fans have many reasons to be excited for next season’s antics, with rumours that Mario Gotzë wants to link-up with his old boss surfacing.
The future of Liverpool FC rests on one man’s shoulders. His passion, determination and gengenpressing are a perfect fit for this distinguished club.
This is Aaron’s first article for Rousing the Kop. Leave a comment below to let him know he did.
Featured Image – The Telegraph UK