In his debut article for Rousing the Kop, Patrick Tracey opens up an interesting dialogue revolving around Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp’s decision to banish Mamadou Sakho.
“Jürgen Klopp? The doctor will see you now.”
At present, it’s 4:02 p.m.(EST) and ‘The Dr Phil’ show is cluttering up the TV airwaves. If you’re not familiar with him, the good Doctor isn’t really a doctor – he’s a psychiatrist that was championed by Oprah Winfrey, and he turned that endorsement into a million-dollar empire.
In a syrupy, heavy Southern accent Phil utters, “And how…was that…for yewwww?” and the fat girl goes, “Wahhhh.”
But here’s the thing: I want to be Dr. Phil – and I meet some of the criteria:
- I’m not good at science
- I love to offer arcane advice
- I can pretend as if I’m empathetic or even listening at all.
I mean, I’d really love to ask an adult film star, “Why are you so fractured an individual that you’ve chosen THIS line of work?” and then charge her $250-an-hour.
But for today, I’d really like to analyse Jürgen Klopp.
“Can we dialogue about this?”
But before I continue, let me state for the record that I have (and have had for the last several years) a mondo man-crush on Klopp.
I remember when Borussia-Dortmund lost to Bayern Munich in the finals of the Champions League and I actually wept. It wasn’t just Klopp’s enthusiasm that made me worship him – it’s that the guy really is the Jesus of Cool.
And I mean it when I write that if Klopp started a cult tomorrow, I’d sell everything I own and pack up only my Labrador, Bucket, and we’d head to wherever he was.
But here’s the rub: as much as I acknowledge that Klopp has more knowledge on football than I’ll ever comprehend and that I will always defer to him on all things related to that topic, I’m not connecting the dots on his casting aside of Mamadou Sakho.
“Can we dialogue about this?”
See, as much as Liverpool Football Club’s best player this season has been Sadio Mané, it’s just as obvious that the major weakness of the team is its defence. And if Sakho’s performances at Crystal Palace have shown anything, it’s that he’s in pretty stellar form.
So I close my eyes and I see a pairing of Mamadou Sakho and Jöel Matip, and I think that Liverpool would trail only Tottenham for the best defensive duo in the Premier League.
But now comes word that Sakho could command up to £30 million and I’m left to wonder: why on God’s green earth would you sell a guy who can fill one of your biggest voids? So Liverpool will sell Sakho, so that they can use that money to acquire another centre back?
Let’s bring it back into the room.”
I don’t know why Jürgen Klopp is so disenchanted with Sakho. Was I to guess, I think it has to do with the failed drug test that pretty much cost Liverpool the UEFA Europa League title and automatic qualification to the Champions League.
And if that’s the case, who am I to blame Klopp? Sakho did let down the club, his teammates and the tens of millions of fans around the world.
But as my Pop, may he rest in peace, used to say to me, “You can’t drive down the street looking out the rear window.”
What’s done is done. Liverpool need a centre back to pair with Matip and the club’s best option may be on loan to Crystal Palace.