Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp previously expressed a desire to work with reported incoming sporting director Jorg Schmadtke.
There was some surprising news out of Anfield last night. After Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Brentford earlier in the day, reports emerged that 59-year-old German Schmadtke is now the front-runner to take over from Julian Ward this summer.
Picking up the story today, The Athletic add some context as to why Liverpool may be looking to the former Wolfsburg sporting director. In amongst it is an interesting quote from Klopp after Schmadtke left Wolfsburg in January of this year.
“I would have liked to work with him, I’m sure it would have worked out well,” the Reds boss reportedly told Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung. “He’s a top character, somebody who never changed in 38 years and stayed true to himself. He’ll be missed by football.”
The words from Klopp came after Schmadtke seemingly retired. Well, in a hugely surprising turn of events, it looks like Jurgen may get his wish after all. We didn’t see this coming!
Klopp fulfils Schmadtke wish
Not many of a Liverpool persuasion will have been aware of Schmadtke before around 10pm on Saturday night. As supporters frantically scramble to find out information on the German, they may not like everything they come across.
Certainly, fans would probably have preferred a younger, more dynamic choice. The likes of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Markus Krosche had been mentioned and would look like a more natural fit.
Paul Mitchell is another to have reportedly been in the mix, and his track record is far more impressive than Schmadtke’s. At least at a higher level, anyway.
But in the end, it looks like Klopp’s influence in the decision-making process is going to be crucial. The Athletic also run quotes that Jurgen made having had an encounter with former goalkeeper Schmadtke as a young footballer.
“I was 19 and had a dream of making it as pro,” Klopp is said to have told Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, also in January. “I went to a trial at Fortuna [Dusseldorf] where Jorg was in goal and a very big name there. I put everything into it and ran like a devil but what can I say? I was a total flop. I guess Schmadtke remembered that. He never made me an offer (to coach) at any of his clubs. He must have thought: if Klopp can’t play football, he can’t be a decent manager either.”
We aren’t in the business of questioning our manager too much, so we’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt here. But with The Athletic reporting that last night’s news was greeted with ‘incredulity’ in Germany, it doesn’t fill us with a great deal of hope. Let’s see how it all pans out.