The closing minutes of Liverpool’s last game with West Brom Albion last weekend bore witness to an already emerging bond. It was as apparent as the shape of an X-Wing in Empire Strikes Back, there was an intensity from the Anfield crowd that further soldered this bond with their new Commander in charge, as intense as how the light blue heat of a lightsaber could cut through steel doors. Yes, even Klopp recognised this intensity and he embraced it like how a manic religious Sith Lord would embrace feverish loyal acknowledgement from his own Padawan.
As this symbiotic relationship flourishes in front of us, the history of how the seeds for this relationship were planted has been buried deep in the excitement of present developments. Many have forgotten the ones that were responsible for identifying this new Commander as the man to lead the Rebel Alliances in Red against the corrupt and ultra rich Galactic Empire, to hopefully restore the just and Empire of the old, when romance and love for the game was all that was needed for the greater good. Many have looked away from the past, as the snow of time has slowly but surely covered the tracks of how these men went about searching and ensuring that this Commander was brought to Anfield to fight the battles and hopefully win the war. The snow very much from the likes of Hoth’s harsh icy landscape.
It has been said that John Henry took the job as owner of the club with a clear and concise idea to rebuild the club to the famed stature it had when we ruled the league and was the Force to be reckoned with in Europe. He knew of these glories and stature because history and legends have been written well in documents archived. And to do so would require someone young enough to fight the whole war, battle by battle, winning each step in the path of reclaiming what used to be our pride and joy, which seems light years away. But he also is to do so without the surety of big expensive budgets that can afford new Star Destroyers, rather cheaper more efficient TIE Fighters with a couple of old sturdy dependant Millennium Falcons. Maybe unearth a couple of Jedis as well.
Henry went about with his trusty confidants to identify a dynamic new leader across all of Europe, and it didn’t require drones nor droids in far discrete wastelands to know that Klopp was already etching a name as a brilliant protagonist of passion in his troops, coupled with brilliant tactics and polished continental strategies. But they also found out very quickly that he harboured fierce loyalties to his people and his troops. He declined Henry respectfully due to this immovable trait of his, further making him all the more the required man for Henry’s mission for Liverpool. Henry accepted this rejection with admiration tinged with burning urgency to find someone of the same mould, perhaps as an interim while waiting to pounce on the chance that Klopp expires his relationship with his beloved club then, Dortmund, in the most natural of manners. Henry had to hedge his bets and hope that this would happen soon enough while the club builds the fundamental platform for his arrival under the tutelage of that interim Commander, Brendan Rodgers. As fate would have it, Rodgers surprised Henry and company, nearly winning the war of 2013/2014. But Rodgers had a Jedi who had discovered the pinnacle of his powers along with another ageing Jedi who had seen one too many battles and wars. These Jedis, along with padawans, were instrumental in Rodgers’ army of warriors. He couldn’t replicate his winning ways without them while steadfastly holding on to the belief that he was the sole architect to almost winning the war.
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Henry never did completely forget the impression he had of Klopp during the first rejection. In fact, it does seem now that Klopp remained his target as the main to materialise his ideals for Liverpool, even though Rodgers played the Great Pretender with true honest notable feathers in his cap while being Commander in charge.
Although coincidental at the time, when Rodgers toiled while suffering insipidly with the mediocre results, Klopp finally closed the chapter of his reign as Commander for Dortmund, gracefully resigning his post due to the barrage of horrible results and battles lost in Germany. But it has to be said that Henry had been rumoured to lure Klopp the second time round with the axe for Rodgers’ head already in inertia months before Klopp stepped down. It wasn’t the money though, because Henry didn’t want to exceed his economic viability threshold, a fundamental and foundational building stone to the Rebel Alliances that he was resurrecting. It was more romantic. It was the notion of Klopp awakening an old dying giant and writing another chapter to the life of this noble majestic giant.
And the romance was apparent as Klopp gestured like the Master of a grand orchestra at Anfield in the last dying minutes of the game last weekend, a battle hard fought and hardly lost. Whether this passionate romance between Klopp and Anfield was part of the grand design of Henry when he first sought out Klopp five years back, we would never know.