Ever since Jurgen Norbert Klopp became Liverpool manager in 2015, there has been a sense of belief within the club. A sense of pending success.
That feeling paid off in June as Liverpool won the Champions League for the sixth time. This represents how far the Liverpool project has come under the tenure of German.
Klopp’s first game as Liverpool boss came in the form of a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. This game set the tone for the rest of his first year in charge.
A mediocre season that focused on cup competitions in order to gain some instant success in the wake of the Brendan Rodgers era.
Liverpool did reach two cup finals that season but were desperately unlucky to walk away without a trophy.
Being on the verge of success and narrowly missing out can destroy someone’s morale. No-one playing under Klopp was allowed to feel down.
The Klopp Revolution
Klopp then brought the likes of Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip and Loris Karius to Anfield. He also promoted young academy graduate name Trent Alexander-Arnold to bolster the ranks. That summer started the Klopp revolution.
How has he proved everyone wrong? By being molded into, arguably, the team’s best player.
Klopp chose his players meticulously and continues to do this today. When Sadio Mane arrived, fans and critics both condemned the spending of nearly £40m on a hot-and-cold player from Southampton.
So how does he do it? How does Jurgen Klopp get every player wearing Liverpool red to give everything they have for him? He’s the ultimate motivator.
Attitude is the most important attribute a player can have under Klopp. And Mane has one of the most positive, never-say-die attitudes in world football.
The Senegalese forward has literally had no preseason this year and has helped Liverpool climb to the top of Premier League, claiming that tiredness is a mentality only.
Jurgen’s influence is embedded into very single nook and cranny of the club.
From Andy Robertson’s gut-busting pressing against Manchester City last season, to somehow making Ragnar Klavan a cult figure in the Liverpool fan-base.
How does he do it? Here are a few reasons.
Finding the Right Player
Finding the right player is the first and most important thing. This is the reason Klopp waited for Virgil van Dijk rather than looking at alternatives.
It’s why no-one was brought in this past summer. If the right players aren’t available, Jurgen will not start panic buying.
Being the right player in terms of attitude is also paramount. As mentioned with Mane before, anyone that doesn’t fit the bill in terms of being part of the team – the project – isn’t welcome.
It’s the main reason Jordan Henderson remains Liverpool captain. The ultimate selfless, team player. There’s nothing the former Sunderland player wouldn’t do for his side. For his manager.
This was demonstrated last weekend when he came off the bench against Southampton. Henderson marched onto the pitch and sured everything up.
He has a naturally calming presence. He waved Virgil away when the Dutchman tried to give him the captain’s armband. A true sign that Henderson doesn’t need an armband on his sleeve to lead the team. His heart will do.
The Trust Factor
Liverpool players aren’t superhuman. They make mistakes. Some more than others. However, no matter how many bad games or rough times a Liverpool player will go through, Jurgen Klopp will always stand by his players.
For instance, how many times was Loris Karius slated by the media? Then how many times did Klopp stand by him? Lovren? Moreno?
Klopp knows the kind of attitude that Jose Mourinho would impart on his players is simply not good for the individual or the team. Even though Loris Karius cost the team the Champions League final, Klopp didn’t throw him under the bus. He has never done that with any player.
No matter how many clangers Dejan Lovren had, he always stuck by him. That kind of attitude towards your players instills a belief within them.
Klopp believes in them, therefore, they believe in themselves. Lovren is a perfect example of this. Following the World Cup final last year, he proclaimed himself to be one of the best defenders in the world.
Every fan mocked him for this but it’s that kind of belief that makes Liverpool such a dangerous team to come up against.
Making Anfield a Fortress Again
Just like it would be without Divock Origi, football without fans would be nothing. It just happens that Liverpool has the best (and sometimes worst) set of fans on the planet.
Liverpool have not lost at home in the Premier League since Crystal Palace in 2017, thanks to a Christian Benteke goal.
Since then, Anfield has been an impenetrable barrier between opposition teams and three points.
No side has beaten Liverpool at Anfield in Europe either. This includes the likes of Napoli, PSG, Barcelona, Bayern, Porto, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United. That’s some feat.
The roar of Anfield is something that every team seems to underestimate. They play it down in pre-match interviews and act like they will be unfazed by it. That is effectively signing their own death warrant as the Anfield faithful never disappoint when called upon by Jurgen Klopp.
It truly has been a remarkable transformation for Liverpool Football Club since Jurgen Klopp took over management in 2015.
To come to Liverpool when he did. To fix the problems from the ground up. Bringing in the right people. Making fans believe again. Only Klopp.
We’re witnessing something special and let’s hope it continues for years to come.