Jürgen Norbert Klopp. Five years a Red. What a time it’s been to be a supporter of Liverpool Football Club.
Flash back to 4th October 2015, and Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool salvage a point away at Everton through a Danny Ings header. The poor start to the season continued, following on from a disastrous conclusion to the 2014/15 campaign. Enough was enough for club owners FSG, and it was time to take the club in a new direction. Two outstanding candidates were available: Carlo Ancelotti and Jürgen Klopp.Embed from Getty Images
Just four days after, the German was appointed and it seemed like the perfect match from the get-go. With Klopp having spent such a successful seven years in charge of Borussia Dortmund, a club similar in many respects to Liverpool, there was immediately a rejuvenated set of fans, full of hope and optimism.
The early stages of the German’s reign were full of inconsistent performances. Around a month into his tenure, Crystal Palace came away 2-1 victors at Anfield. With many supporters departing before the final whistle, Klopp claimed in his presser that he felt “pretty alone” in this moment, further emphasising the message to the supporters, they needed to change from “doubter to believer.”Embed from Getty Images
Glimpses of what a Klopp side could do became more frequent throughout the campaign, highlighted with a 4-3 Europa League win over Dortmund, one of Anfield’s most glorious European nights. Although it ended in heartache in Basel, there was plenty of reason to change into believers in this Liverpool team and this manager.
The acquisitions of Joël Matip, Gini Wijnaldum and Sadio Mané in summer 2016 proved to be excellent business for the club. The trio, particularly the Senegalese Mané, helped Liverpool achieve a top four finish in Klopp’s first full season at the helm, just the second time in eight years the Reds had managed to do so. It was the perfect foundation to lay down, in order to take the club to the next level in the coming season and compete in a star-studded UEFA Champions League.Embed from Getty Images
Summer 2017, and the marquee recruits of Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Anfield for a combined total of around £75m. Another addition, which raised eyebrows, was of Hull left back Andrew Robertson for a modest £8m fee. It was the debut season of the rampant trio of Salah, Firmino and Mané and it wasn’t long before they showed Liverpool fans the damage they could impose, with a 4-0 demolition job of Arsenal in August.
By late April, we had Salah breaking countless records, Robertson making the left back spot his own, £75m Virgil van Dijk bossing it, top 4 looking likely, and most importantly a Champions League final on the cards. Inspired displays against Manchester City and Roma saw Klopp’s men have a date with Spanish giants Real Madrid in Kiev, tantalisingly poised. A disastrous Loris Karius performance unfortunately meant it ended in heartbreak in a 3-1 defeat, though this campaign was just more evidence of what was to come in the near future under the German boss.Embed from Getty Images
Summer 2018 saw Klopp and the club’s owners finally address the evident goalkeeping issues, with an alarming £66.8m spent on the acquisition of Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker. His compatriot Fabinho also arrived at Melwood, as well as creative midfielder Naby Keïta; a clear strengthening of the Liverpool spine. It was here that not just Liverpool fans but the entire country realised this was a squad ready to compete for the title.
And so it proved. By early May 2019, the Reds were neck-and-neck with title rivals Manchester City on a truly outstanding points tally, yet it would ultimately still prove to be insufficient to end the desperate wait for that title. However, there was still slim hope in the Champions League, albeit with a 3-0 deficit to Barcelona from the semi final first leg. What happened next was arguably Anfield’s greatest ever night. A truly remarkable 4-0 comeback will be vividly remembered by every single Liverpool fan, and set up a final in Madrid versus Spurs. After weeks of anticipation, another magical night occurred; a 2-0 victory securing Klopp’s maiden trophy as boss and Liverpool’s sixth (6th!) European Cup. European Royalty.Embed from Getty Images
Later that summer, the 2019-20 season was ready to commence with the Reds opting not to make any major signings from a position of significant strength and pulling power. Many supporters were consequently left concerned regarding a title charge, with City again bolstering an already monumental squad.
We should have known by this point. Never, ever doubt this group of players and the managerial genius that is Jürgen Klopp. In an unprecedented season in many ways, the Reds blitzed their way to the title, accumulating an astonishing 99 points. Most importantly however, the 30 year wait was finally over. Klopp and his players will leave the club as legends, achieving the holy grail: the Premier League title.Embed from Getty Images
Not one of us can thank Jürgen enough. He delivers on the pitch, he gets the team, the city and is the perfect man for this football club. He embodies exactly what it means to be Liverpool manager. He truly has turned each and every one of us from doubters, to believers.