Klopp’s departure: Is there more to it than meets the eye?

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

“In terms of Liverpool and what happens next I’m in a ‘Watch this space mode’ “

Ok, Let’s be honest, as a Man United fan, a good part of me was delighted to hear the shock news last week that Jurgen Klopp was leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. Afterall he has masterminded some of the biggest hammerings the Anfield squad have handed United in the past eight years.

Despite that, there is a part of me which is sad to see him leaving. It is impossible not to like him, even if he has managed to knock us off that effing perch Alex Ferguson knocked the Merseysiders off for decades before that. Yes, he has been a brilliant addition for the Premier League and has added to its growth to become by far the best domestic league on the planet.

He has won all the major competitions with Liverpool in his eight and a half years at the club and now has a second generation of players coming through which are top of the league and could very well win a quadruple of titles this year – the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Europa Cup. Should he manage to achieve all four, and I wouldn’t bet against it, then that would rank up there with the treble City won last season and United’s great treble title year of 1999.

Amid all the reasons being put forward for his decision, taking last November, to leave at season’s end, I feel there is something beyond running out of energy behind such a big game changer both for himself and the club.

I saw how Klopp was quick to dismiss claims by a former Liverpool playerJose Enrique that the Fenway Sports Group who own the club had not backed him financially.  He made the point that he is everything in the club, not just with the team and in November he surprised himself by thinking he was running out of energy for the task at hand. I suppose it depends on your character and Pep Guardiola did the same at Barcelona after six or seven years before finding his mojo again for the Bayern Munich and Man City jobs. Klopp strikes me as more of a character in the mould of Fergie who has found his soulmate club in Liverpool just like the Scot did at Old Trafford. He lasted 27 years in total though he had signalled a departure after 15 years in 2001 only to change his mind and go on for another decade or so.

In terms of Liverpool and what happens next I’m in a ‘Watch this space mode’ as I have a feeling there is more to it than meets the eye. Either way, I wish him well and wonder how United would have done if he had accepted their offer to become manager back in 2013. After a visit it was his wife who told him United didn’t sit right and he should not go there… the way things have panned out, maybe she was 100 per cent right.

I wonder for instance what the German would do with Marcus Rashford who clearly is becoming a major problem for Erik Ten Hag. The Dutchman doesn’t have the same player empathy that Klopp possesses but that said it is not his fault that Rashford is behaving unprofessionally once again.   Mourinho certainly had reservations about him being a striker and he was proven right but I wonder did he see flaws in his day to day working at the club.

Right now supporters who have always backed him are beginning to doubt if he is worth all the hassle he is causing. You will be forgiven when scoring 30 goals in a season but with a meagre return this term of four, one from a penalty, well there is less sympathy for such schoolboy antics.

The jury is out but with the new ownership in place, you can be sure there will be little room for sentiment anymore. And that’s exactly what United want. They need to buy five or six top pros but must get rid of all the deadwood around the squad, including some big names for this to happen.

Jim Rathcliffe’s regime has got off to a good start by letting go some of the off field figures who quite simply have been wasting hundreds of millions on average players. The appointment  of  City Football Group’s chief football operations officer, Omar Berrada, as CEO is the first step in the right direction. We will learn a lot more about how quick and astute their changes will be when we see if they allow Ten Hag to continue next season and who they tell him to get rid of from his playing staff.

Looking at United on Sunday in the FA Cup against Newport, you would have said there is a massive undertaking on their hands to get United back to the preeminence they enjoyed in the Fergie years. But like everything else, a new journey needs a first step and that is where Ineos is at as we speak. It will be interesting to see how Liverpool handle their transition when Klopp vacates the manager’s chair but at least they can comfort themselves in the knowledge that they can’t possibly do any worse than United have done in the past 12 years.

Related Articles