“I am the normal one” – the words that endeared every Liverpool fan to Klopp. Not that it was needed. Jurgen had already arrived with much acclaim. It’s been a long time since a Liverpool manager was so revered.
The smile, the turned up jeans, the funky glasses. The moment he grabbed Ian Ayre and Tom Werner like the hulk catching his prey. You begin to understand just why this man is so loved by those associated with BVB.
Part of Klopp’s challenge at Dortmund was to lift the gloom. The club became the hipsters’ dream for fun, beer and rock star football. The wifi in the club’s press room had a password of ‘klopplove’. A whole club transformed into the image of a man who neither took himself too seriously and understood the love of the game.
One of the challenges Liverpool have faced in recent times has been the need to always gloss over the facts. At times, the match reactions on the club’s social media feed are always “will always support my team, I love LFC” – there’s never a negative comment allowed on the official feed. In contrast, during a game when Dortmund are playing badly the official feed goes into frenzy with itself “NEIN, NEIN, NEIN!!! Was auf der Erde vor sich geht?” – What on earth is going on here…
On one level you have the truth, and on another you have the footballing equivalent of North Korean state TV.
Another classic example of the fear of those in Chapel Street to simply let go was when BVB tweeted a hilarious photoshop to Liverpool’s official account – Liverpool’s reply was simply to say “Danke”. Slow hand claps all around…
This isn’t a criticism of those who run the feeds at Liverpool, but the club would do well to open up now the enigmatic German is in charge. This man breaks the mould and when an entire club follows behind him then success invariably follows.
Klopp has walked into a club where the fans, the staff and the players have been walking on egg shells for a long time. There’s been up’s, downs, politics, and conspiracy for a long time. Brendan Rodgers’ 13/14 season showed that good football can temporarily calm the storm brewing in and around the club. But the old saying “form is temporary, class is permanent” is true. This is why fans are impatient because as soon as we’re no longer happy with what we’re seeing in front of us, we turn back to the other issues that impact our experience of the club we love.
Add to this the fact that there has been more protests on ticket prices than trophies in the last few years and with other issues such as flag waving on the KOP, the famous Khmer Rouge dossier, open letters, transfer issues between manager and owners and so much more.
Healing is required – understanding needed on both sides. And no more talking of the club’s infamous values.
This is one of reasons Klopp’s appointment is so invigorating. He just doesn’t care about the Armani suits and the black ties. As fans we feel alive again. It’s a small step on the way to transforming from doubters to believers , but the next step must come from the club.
Our club for a long time has strayed away from the connection to the city and the fans and now we have a manager here to unite us. What a time to be alive.
As Jurgen tucked into a Stella or two outside the beautiful Hope Street Hotel he’s staying in, the new manager would have experienced the affection any Liverpool manager will receive. He will have seen a city excited about his arrival and he would have smiled. This city, these fans love him and he must know that.
His challenge now is to sprinkle some of his magic on the upper echelons of the Anfield hierarchy. Maybe soon we can start to see the Klopp-Love ebb out from something that has become overly stale and not as good as we remember it from before.