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Klopp bringing the A-game to Anfield

  • Published at 12:40 pm August 16th, 2016
  • Last updated at 12:55 pm August 16th, 2016
Klopp bringing the A-game to Anfield
With the exception of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, there has only ever been one German manager in the history of the English Premier League, which was Felix Magath. Perhaps Klopp’s appointment is a sign of things to come. Talented German managers might fancy the Premiership in the future but one thing is for certain. No one will quite capture the English public's imagination like Klopp, the tactician from the Black Forest. The 49-year old has taken to Merseyside like a duck to water. Appointed in October 2015, Klopp guided the Reds to two final appearances in his maiden season. Liverpool lost both the League Cup and the Europa League final to Manchester City and Sevilla respectively but the Scousers liked what they saw. After all, these days it’s not often that you see Liverpool contesting two finals in a season. And even though the Reds finished eighth in the Premiership, it wasn’t the end of the world for the Kop who knew Klopp wasn’t present for the full season. In his first full season in charge, Klopp would be looking forward to cement his ideas and philosophies upon his charges, who will only have to deal with the domestic competitions – league, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup (also known as the League Cup). In his pursuit of restoring the club's glory days of the past, Klopp has started things off in some style this season as Liverpool got the better of Arsenal 4-3 at The Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Going by the events in the Liverpool dugout during and after the victory, it was a memorable start to the season for the animated Klopp, who nearly lost his glasses while celebrating. However, despite his interminable energy and eccentricity, not everyone, apparently, is a fan of his tactics and actions on the sidelines. His critics often say that his preferred style of play – “gegenpressing” to some and “heavy metal football” to others – is one-dimensional. Klopp is also sometimes referred to as a one-trick pony. With that said, since this particular playing style - where the players press the opposition non-stop when without the ball – has served him so well in the past (just ask German outfits Mainz and Borussia Dortmund), it is only natural for him to persist with it. At Mainz and Dortmund, Klopp worked his magic with this specific method and ended up as the longest serving manager of both Bundesliga clubs. He has a host of records to show for his time in Germany. He was adjudged Germany's football manager of the year twice, having inspired Dortmund to consecutive top-flight titles in 2011 and 2012, a rare feat in the club's history. Klopp also led the Black and Yellows to the domestic double in 2012, the first time ever in the club's history. A year later, Dortmund reached only their second ever Champions League final where they lost narrowly to arch-rival Bayern Munich. The BVB also secured the German Cup and the German Super Cup under the stewardship of the bespectacled coach. Meanwhile at Mainz, he created a number of club records, besides achieving promotion to the top-tier. However, Klopp is not just about the titles as Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana pointed out a few months ago. “He is animated and emotional on match days and that makes him who he is. But when you come away from that on to the training pitch he is very affectionate, and has a laugh and a joke. He makes you feel wanted and appreciates the hard work you have just put into a game.” Very few players, be it at Mainz, Dortmund or Liverpool, would disagree with Lallana.
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