Three decades of misery and ruin are over. For the first time since 1990, Liverpool footballers are again England champions. They were led to do by a well-formed team full of excellent players – and especially a genius named Jürgen Klopp. What were the main trumps of the charismatic German strategist?
They waited thirty years. So much time passed before Liverpool re-celebrated the English league title. Several times the boys in red were very close – in the 2008/09 season they played great football under the baton of Rafael Benitez, when Fernando Torres shone in the attack.
Five years later, it looked like a championship celebration, but then Steven Gerrard’s fateful slip came, and the team led by Brendan Rodgers was left with only second place.
The old captain’s hesitation has become synonymous with Liverpool’s failure. It then appeared on the Internet in the form of various memes in various forms – mostly symbolizing the fact that hopes of triumph flowed through Liverpool.
This was confirmed again last season. Klopp’s team played famously and scored an amazing 97 points. But the Guardiol Citizens gained one more point. The fans were clear. If the Liverpool people did not win the title even after such a performance, they will probably never win it again.
But now they have it. Thirty years later, championship celebrations have begun on the River Mersey, and it is coach Jürgen Klopp who is the chief architect of the historic triumph. The charismatic German gave the team a face, a clear style of play, and from less than five years, which he took over in tenth place on the table, he created the best football team in the world in less than five years.
Expensive, but the best
The house is always built from the ground up – and without a good goalkeeper, Liverpool would have a hard time achieving current success. After all, remember the Champions League final last year, where Loris Karius ‘two roughs completely ruined the Reds’ chances for a cup triumph.
In Allison, Klopp has a sanctuary guard with a great pass and a fighter with a major role in the construction of the game, which is already a de facto minimum for goalkeepers in today’s football. In addition, the Brazilian national team often adds above-standard interventions to this.
Quite possibly the most important member of the team can be found in the middle of the defense. In the person of Virgil van Dijk, Klopp’s already breathtaking team gained a much-needed above-standard – an indestructible stopper, an impenetrable wall that leans the defense into one solid unit and handles every raid of rival units. The best stopper in the world performs this role very well.
But when he came to Anfield, Klopp faced criticism for being a hypocrite. In the case of Paul Pogby’s transfer to the United, he had previously claimed that throwing away such huge sums for players was terrible and generally unhealthy for football. The Stuttgart native just smiled at that. “Have I changed my mind? Yes. But it’s better to change my mind than never have one.”
In the middle of the backup, at first glance, you will not find an unloaded playmaker or masters of imaginative passes. Henderson, Wijnaldum or Fabinho are more like marathoners, tireless workers. But that doesn’t have to bother the fans. What is missing from Liverpool in the middle of the field is richly compensated by both extreme beci.
Defenders? More like wings
Either Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson assisted with twenty Reds league hits in the current year. The next four goals were scored, so overall they signed under 34 percent of all goals that Liverpool scored in the league. Extreme defenders.
“I have to smile every time I see Trent. He’s the best real back in the world. The great success of our academy,” he blurted out. “TAA“ Michael Beale, current coach of the Scottish Rangers and former head coach of the Liverpool Youth.
His counterpart on the left, Robertson, arrived at the club three years ago from the descending Hull for nine million euros. Now, according to the Transfermarkt server, the price is 55 million higher.
But the real showcase of the Liverpool team is the famous offensive trident. Salah, Mane, Firmino. Three names that the whole football world now knows thanks to Klopp. Stamp for perfectly folded football team. Symbols of the terrifying certainty that your defense will not leave the duel with a clear shield.
Neither Salah nor Mané are typical wingers sprinting along the line, and Firmino, as a pointed striker, is no longer the gunner with the instinct of a killer we would expect in a similar position.
He scored only eight goals this season, which are not dizzying numbers for the ‘nine’. However, the Brazilian’s central contribution does not lie in the number of goals scored.
A new kind of attacker
“Don’t judge Firmina by the goals, but by how he affects the rest of the team. Teammates play better, get lost balls, never get hurt. You always get the performance you need from him,” explains Liverpool striker Jamie Carragher.
Great defends, when needed, runs down to the backup. With a tireless presink, he bothers his opponents when he holds the ball. It annoys enemies, it’s like insects. At the same time, however, he is imaginative and wonderfully able to find free space between the lines. Firmino may not be a shotgun born for Golden Football, but for Klopp’s style of play he is the best striker on earth.
The best things in the world are usually the simplest. It is not for nothing that start-up businessmen often say: If you can’t describe your business plan in three sentences, don’t do it.
The same is true for a team in red jerseys. Today’s Liverpool is no alchemy – an excellent goalkeeper, a walking rock in the middle of the defense, an unnaturally productive extreme beci and a deadly offensive trio. All this at a challenging pace, spiced with healthy aggression and immediate attack on the opponent when he loses the ball.
Changes in the line-up and different choices of players according to the situation, this is often one of the frequent topics of football debates before big duels. Bet on the tip of a tall turret and lime trenches, or prefer a fast, run-in attacker? Will they play three stoppers, or a traditional line-up with a four-member defense?
Liverpool doesn’t have to deal with anything like that. Everyone knows that they will play 4-3-3 (although it often looks like 2-3-5 due to the offensive tastes of full-backs) and every football fan in the world can name the line-up they will play in. Where there is quality, there may not be secrets.
Connection from the realm of dreams
But it would be hasty to attribute the current success of the Kloppov only to the coach’s sharp judgment and excellent football players. Professional sport is still primarily about working with people. And no matter what is scribbled on the magnetic boards in the cabin, if there is no proper chemistry in the team, you will not experience triumphs. And the setting of a good atmosphere is one of the hallmarks in the clubs under the curator of the spectacled beard.
“Our belonging and character, it’s all mainly the coach’s credit,” Alexander-Arnold paid tribute to Klopp. “The goals we already scored in the late stages of the match… it can’t be a coincidence.”
It’s not. Like Klopp’s whole Liverpool story. For similar cases, the English have the phrase A match made in heaven – a connection formed in heaven. This also applies here. A traditional, formerly super-successful club with devoted fans, but for a long time it only dusted off long-gone fame.
And an extremely talented but burnt-out coach, looking for a successful engagement in Borussia Dortmund station, where he could once again give away football joy in full sips.
“Today belongs to you all,” Klopp visibly moved to millions of fans on Thursday, following the final confirmation of Liverpool’s league triumph. The day he became a legend.