Today marks a year since it was announced that Jurgen Klopp would be the new manager of Liverpool Football Club. Here are the last 12 months in pictures:
Klopp took over and was immediately thrust into an environment where there was certainly some quality, but the overruling number of players who didn’t contribute in a meaningful way meant that it was difficult for the German to crack on in the way he would have liked.
As such, his first three weeks in charge saw him draw two Premier League games and win one. The one being a brilliant 3-1 triumph over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. If anything, the victory was made more satisfying by the sour look on Jose Mourinho’s face after the game.
Liverpool fans would soon get very accustomed to seeing Klopp stride onto the pitch after games and hug all his players – and those from the opposition.
November 2015 was a great month for Klopp. Aside from a poor 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace, it was a month which featured the 4-1 drubbing of Manchester City. In hist first three games against ‘big team’ opposition, Klopp remained unbeaten.
In a video that went viral, Klopp spoke about how upset he was about losing to Crystal Palace. The German said, “Sometimes, I would really like to change my personality, but I can’t forget this f*cking lose against Crystal Palace.” The room, packed with journalists, burst into laughter and yet Klopp remained stony-faced.
It was clear that he was on a mission and defeat to low-lying teams was unacceptable.
Still, the highlight of the month had to be the win at Manchester City.
December was a month of realization for Klopp. In Germany, during the festive period, the Bundesliga takes a short break known as the ‘winter break.’ In England, however, things are quite different.
Out of the seven games Liverpool played last December, only three resulted in wins. It was a month where defeats to Newcastle and Watford marred the festive spirit that filtered through the country.
Overall, Klopp’s first Christmas was less than ideal. Boxing day was splendid, however, with victory over the eventual champions Leicester at Anfield.
If Klopp thought December was bad, then January is incomparable. Liverpool played nine games in the first month of the new year but managed an improved win rate, succeeding in five of their nine games.
Arguably the most exciting Premier League game all season came at Carrow Road against Norwich City. The Reds found themselves 3-1 down after some poor defending before one of the most memorable comebacks saw Liverpool 4-3 up on 90 minutes.
The story doesn’t end there, however, as Norwich pulled one back from a poorly defended set piece (obviously).
After some pressure in the final seconds of the game, Adam Lallana found the ball bounce in front of him and he thudded it into the ground and the ball bounced into the back of the net to seal a hugely dramatic 5-4 away win and send the traveling support into rapture.
In February, Liverpool played in and lost the Capital One Cup final. It was the first real taste of disappointment for Klopp as manager of the club.
Liverpool bounced back from the Capital One Cup heartbreak against Man City, with a comprehensive win over the same team. It was a bit annoying as many fans were wondering why that win couldn’t have happened four days earlier.
The most significant moment in March was Liverpool’s Europa League success against Manchester United in the round of 16. A delightful chip from Phil Coutinho secured passage to the quarterfinals where Klopp would face his old side Borussia Dortmund.
April was a busy month.
Liverpool drew with Dortmund in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final and we all know what happened in the second leg. The 4-3 comeback at Anfield, as dramatic as it was, set the tone for what would be an exciting road to the final.
Aside from a 1-0 loss against Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, Liverpool was unbeaten in 8 games in April. Impressive.
May. Ah, the excitement leading up to the Europa League final was immense but the lads fell at the final hurdle.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, it was clear how far Liverpool had come in the 8 months that Klopp had been manager.
Fast forward to August, and Liverpool looked a completely different side. Two wins, one draw and one loss saw the Reds make a solid start to the new season.
The most impressive of these games was definitely against Arsenal on the opening day of the season. Klopp’s side made a statement of intent as they put four past the Gunners.
Last month was one of Klopp’s most successful on paper. The Reds scored 16 goals in four games and secured nine points from the available nine. With resounding victories in the league over Leicester, Chelsea and Hull City, Liverpool has made an early claim for the top spots in the league.
That brings us to October. With a hard-fought win over Swansea City, which Liverpool probably would have lost last season, the Reds are fourth in the league.
You couldn’t better explain how well Klopp has done than to point towards Liverpool’s league placing now compared to last season. When Klopp took over the Merseyside club, Rodgers had left the side tenth in the league and a year on, Liverpool is fourth.
Klopp could not be more perfect for Liverpool and Liverpool could not be more perfect for Klopp. It’s a match made in heaven.
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