Liverpool FC: 1 year with Jurgen Klopp

"We take a look at how Klopp has revitalised The Reds and how he has become the new ‘King of the Kop.’ The self proclaimed ‘Normal One’ has proved to be anything but in his first year on Merseyside."
Published by
25th Oct 2016

Liverpool tickets have rocketed since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool last October and with the recent new Main Stand at Anfield, there has never been a better time to watch Liverpool play. There is no denying that Liverpool football tickets are some of the most in demand seats on the market. We take a look at how Klopp has revitalised The Reds and how he has become the new ‘King of the Kop.’

The self proclaimed ‘Normal One’ has proved to be anything but in his first year on Merseyside. There has been nothing ordinary about the 49-year old German who has endeared himself to The Kop in a first year which has culminated in many highs and lows in charge of Liverpool Football Club. It has been an action packed year for Klopp, who has managed to galvanise both players and supporters during his short tenure in charge. Two cup finals resulted in heartache at both Wembley and in Basel. However, another famous Anfield European night against Borussia Dortmund will live long in the memory and Reds will hope there are plenty more fist pumps, hugs, broken glasses and witty one liners to come from their manager.

It is not just a new Main Stand which has been built at Anfield, whispers are circling that Jurgen Klopp is building something much greater in charge of Liverpool. Football Ticket Pad takes a look at five things which have impressed most during Jurgen Klopp’s first year on Merseyside. Klopp has certainly been a breath of fresh air for Liverpool since his arrival and the results are beginning to show on the pitch.

Style of Play - When it comes to tactics, Klopp is already one of the most talked about managers in the Premier League. The Liverpool pressing style they were famed for in the 1970’s and 1980’s is a lite version of what Klopp has mastered in his managerial career, hence why the Liverpool hierarchy were so keen to hire the German as their new boss in October 2015. The high intensity ‘gegenpressing’ model that is often associated with Klopp has allowed him to deliver the ‘full throttle’ and ‘heavy metal’ football which he demands and which Liverpool supporters crave.

Under Klopp, the Reds have set-up in a preferred 4-2-3-1 system which has been effective under the German with the two full-backs operating as wing backs and joining the midfield when going forward. This attacking intent from midfield is one of the main differences which allows a midfield three behind a lone striker to supply the creative spark in attack but also be the forefront of pressing without the ball and winning possession in advanced areas of the pitch with the midfield two providing a shield in front of the back four.

Fitness has obviously been a key aspect of the new system under Klopp. Liverpool have been putting in the hard yards on the training pitch and pre-season was said to be intense with double and sometimes even three sessions a day and the results are certainly showing, with Liverpool covering more ground than any other club in the Premier League.

An attacking 4-3-3 system has also been used by Klopp and this is what was so effective last season in the 4-1 demolition of Manchester City away from home with Roberto Firmino operating as the central striker. However, the 4-2-3-1 setup has been preferred and it is clear that each player has a clear role to play for the system to work effectively. Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana have both blossomed. The likes of Sadio Mane have proved to be a masterstroke and Philippe Coutinho’s magic in attack has been nothing short of mesmerising at times. Likewise, the workrate of Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Giorgino Wijnaldum in the ‘midfield engine room’ has been imperative. All of which has made for a smooth transition under Klopp.

Transfers - Klopp has had two transfer windows to shape his side and build a squad capable of challenging for titles and being a joy to watch from the stands as a new-look Liverpool begins to take shape. Marko Grujic, Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Ragnar Klavan are all players who many fans did not know much about. However, since their arrivals this summer, the likes of Matip, Karius and Klavan have all played integral roles in Liverpool’s promising start to the season. Meanwhile, Grujic appears to be one for the future and with the further additions of Sadio Mane and Giorginio Wijnaldum the Reds have added some Premier League experience which has proved pivotal in implementing the demands of English football.

Klopp has also not been scared to get rid of so called big name players from his squad. The likes of Joe Allen, Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli all arrived for big money fees, however they have all been shipped out in an attempt to cut the wage bill and fine tune the squad. Martin Skrtel, Jordon Ibe, Kolo Toure and Brad Smith have all been sold in order to make way for fresh faces and it is clear that both the Liverpool hierarchy and supporters back his methods. In total, Liverpool have a total net spend of £23.65 million under Klopp, a relatively small margin given the spends in previous regimes. All of which will prove insignificant if the club can clinch silverware and return to the pinnacle of English football.

Personality - The charismatic German has provided plenty of entertainment in front of the cameras. There is no doubt that the Liverpool boss wears his heart on his sleeve and passion and humour has captivated football fans, making him both a real asset to Liverpool Football Club and the rest of English football. He is one of the most likeable characters in the Premier League who is proving to be great value both on and off the pitch with his facial expressions and brutal honesty when it comes to interviews and press conferences.

The 49 year-old lives and breathes football. It is clear that football is his life but there is something very down to earth about the Reds boss. Whether it is catching a beer in Liverpool city centre, walking his dogs down Formby beach, learning scouse phrases, or playing a game of Bowls, he has warmed himself to the local community with his friendliness. Behind the driven and football obsessed manager is a laid back father who ultimately treats his players as his own.

Goal Celebrations - If you ask any Liverpool fan what they like most about their boss and aside from the eye-catching displays on the pitch, their manager’s celebrations is close to top of their list. Klopp’s infectious passion, thumping fist pumps, bear hugs and broken glasses have all been witnessed when celebrating goals during his first year and this passion is spilling from the terraces onto the pitch.

A particular highlight is the thrilling 5-4 victory at Norwich in January 2015. Liverpool had conceded a 90th minute equaliser in a pulsating match which looked to have had eight goals shared at four a piece. However, in the 96th minute Adam Lallana pounced to seal a memorable victory for Liverpool to spark pandemonium on the touchline. Lallana and his team mates ran over to Klopp in a mass celebration which ended up with Klopp breaking his glasses in the midst of the joyous scenes. Liverpool will hope that there are many more jovial celebrations under Klopp in the not too distant future.

Funny Quotes - Klopp is not one to hold back and during his first year in charge, fans have become accustomed to the German’s sense of humour of knack of telling it just how it is. Ever since his unveiling as Reds boss, Klopp has churned out some memorable quotes and here at Football Ticket Pad we have selected five of our favourites from his time as Liverpool boss:

In a memorable first press conference, Klopp produced one of the best quotes so far and immediately charmed the media…

“I don’t want to describe myself. I’m a totally normal guy. I came from the Black Forest. I’m the ‘Normal One’.”

On discussing the handling of youngsters in the game, Klopp expressed his concern in a rather unusual way when Jordan Rossiter returned from International duty injured…

“These young players are our future. If we handle them like horses then we get horses.”

Still able to demonstrate his humour despite a disappointing home defeat to Crystal Palace, Klopp couldn’t hide his bitterness over the result in November last year...

“Sometimes I would really like to change my personality but I can’t forget this f****** loss against Crystal Palace.”

A post-match interview showed Klopp’s hilarious reaction to his side’s ruthless performance against Manchester City in November 2015…

“The best word I can say to describe this, is BOOM!”

Following his side's comfortable 3-0 win over Derby in September, Klopp was awaiting his post-match interview with the Sky Sports cameras but didn't realise they were running...

“Liverpool weren’t on TV? In Germany they show every f***ing game!”