Jürgen Klopp's Season-End Resignation: A Premier League Catastrophe Surpassing Sir Alex Ferguson's Exit
Returning here is good because big things are often seen from a distance. And Jürgen Klopp, or rather, Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool, is undoubtedly a cornerstone.
Let's go back almost 39 years. Klopp was 18 then, learning to push attackers offside as a central defender in the modest German club Glatten. So modest that Klopp's presence would become the club's main achievement. He wasn't particularly a fan of Liverpool back then. May 29, when one of the best clubs of the 1980s was banned from European competitions for 10 years, indeed didn't become a terrifying date for him.
But for the English, it was a real tragedy. This topic became the main one in the country. "You'll Never Walk Alone" soared in the charts again. Lines from Liverpool's anthem were painted on the gates of Anfield. The fans banned from European competitions were in mourning.
In Liverpool's homeland, it tore everyone to pieces. Moreover, the ban was slightly reduced, but at the same time, significant changes came to football. The Premier League was formed in England. The Champions League in Europe. Klopp had no chance to play in either. He was languishing in the Second Bundesliga, dreaming of someday making it to the First Bundesliga.
Liverpool also needed to remember the taste of significant victories. The FA Cup and League Cup don't count. This sad era lasted 20 years and ended in Istanbul when Jerzy Dudek, possibly in the most superb final of all sports, saved a shot from Andriy Shevchenko. That match is etched in the memory of those who love to bet on Punters Page online bookies. The odds played that day, one shudders to recall.
In Germany, the year before making it to the elite with 1.FSV Mainz 05, Klopp, as a coach, first entered European competitions. At that time, no one could have imagined their paths would cross with Liverpool, but 10 years later, in 2015, they decided to go together. Their collaboration became a new milestone not only for the "Reds" but for all of European football.
Turning point in Norwich
In the early 2010s, the Premier League was a battle between two Manchester teams. Sometimes, and only with success, Chelsea joined them. The new American owners claimed that Liverpool wanted to achieve the same but in their "own way." That's what you say when there's no money. Liverpool had the money but has yet to receive results. Klopp took over the team from Brendan Rodgers during the season. The "Reds" were in 10th place, but it was only the beginning of the season, and nothing terrible had happened yet.
The German started cautiously. The first season mostly stayed the same globally. However, there was one match when the American bosses looked at the new manager from a different angle – in Norwich.
The "Reds" were on a terrible streak, and although the opponent was doing even worse, the guests conceded three goals by the end of the hour. Klopp's prospects were rapidly sinking into the fog of Albion. The camera captured Klopp's look at the team captain, Jordan Henderson. Now everyone knows that look. A minute later, Henderson responded with one goal. After another 20 minutes, he went to the bench with the score 4-3 in favor of the Merseysiders.
Also, in this match, everyone saw an enraged Klopp (when Norwich equalized in the 90+3rd minute) and an ecstatic Klopp flying across the field with his endlessly long arms to embrace his team. In the 90+5th minute, substitute Adam Lallana made him happy.
Later, matches with such opponents would become routine, but at that time, it was a turning point when the team and the coach believed in each other.
The Best Show in the Premier League
And then there was the 2018/19 season, which every Liverpool fan would gladly relive. The team entered it against a painful defeat to Real Madrid in the previous Champions League final. And although Norwich was only three years ago, fans chased Klopp for the Title.
Their battle with Manchester City, Guardiola's project itself, will be transmitted from mouth to mouth like a Greek epic. The leader of that Premier League season changed several times. The "Reds" suffered only one defeat throughout the season, and in the final stretch, they had a nine-game winning streak but still lost to Manchester City by one point.
ManCity stood firm, but Tottenham did not in the Champions League final. Three weeks after the most heartbreaking pursuit in Klopp's career, Liverpool finally brought home the most precious trophy. Less than a year later, the "Reds" won the English Premier League seven rounds before its completion (a record in the Premier League). In the foreseeable future, this achievement will remain untouched.
The Premier League that took Klopp nearly nine years ago no longer exists. His path proved so inspiring that even Newcastle, Aston Villa, and even ManUnited, who jumped onto the German rails, tried to follow it. Copies are always worse than originals.
As for Klopp himself, the last round of the Premier League, in which Liverpool is leading, will take place on May 18. And we will see another Klopp - crying. And who could resist that? Because the English stage of his career is the best thing to happen in football. The best show ever shown on Sky Sports.
Published by Patrick Jane