Since Liverpool last won the Champions League in 2005, it has gone through five managers in Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers, and now Jurgen Klopp.
06/07 season was the last time Liverpool have showed their dominance in European football, and 2013/2014 was the most recent surge in hopes for an elusive league title, with the previous charge coming six seasons before.
Just like the upcoming season, Liverpool Football Club have been in a constant rebuilding process since 2010/11, which was the very short period of Roy Hodgson, now incumbent of the England national team.
13/14 was the season our team looked the best it had been for the better part of half a decade with players like Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Agger, Philippe Coutinho, and Raheem Sterling obliterating teams home and away, like a six-cylinder engine roaring through the autobahn at 250km/h.
But when the engine suddenly stalls, similar to how a manager could either lose the dressing room, or can’t climb out of the hole he dug when he sold his best player and failed to fill in the void, we bid them farewell.
It’s a vicious cycle, and we’re so tired of hearing the word rebuild. But why does this come up so often?
We lack identity. The mechanic in a manager knows what his identity is, but we as a football club don’t have a clue. The fans might, but the gentlemen high up the hierarchy did not, until today.
Since Rafa Benitez left the club, Liverpool has lost it. Each manager comes in and tries to stamp his style in the club, and change the system to fit their own identity. Hodgson failed horribly in that perspective and Kenny Dalglish was left to pick up the pieces.
Less than a year later, they sack King Kenny and bring in Brendan Rodgers, who at the start of the 2012/13 campaign, couldn’t show the Anfield faithful his vision. Then came January, the wave-riding dancer and the little magician come in and they slowly helped us see what Brendan said about “death by football”.
The season after (13/14) was blissful, yet depressing. Three points shy of winning the league title. But it got worse as Luis Suarez had left the club, and we replaced him with Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli. The promising 14/15 season immediately went down the drain as Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems highlighted Rodgers’ inability to attract high-profile players, and the season ended in a sickening 6-1 defeat to Stoke City.
In my opinion, I think the biggest issue in the past five years was the failure of Liverpool to achieve an identity and stick with it. Over half a decade down the line, we never had the ability to appoint a manager who fits the Liverpool way, who doesn’t need to change the system, but to take what we have and restore it.
Today, we have Jurgen Klopp, a man notorious for igniting the fire within a club as he did with FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund, with the latter today being identified as one of the most threatening sides in Europe.
But Dortmund had parted ways with Klopp. Why haven’t the sunk down when they lost the man running the show?
The executives over at the BVB are smart. They’ve found a mechanic (Thomas Tuchel) that need not rebuild the whole engine, and instead, turn a few screws and keep it in tip-top shape. After all, why breakdown something that didn’t need to be overhauled?
I’m most likely not the only one who wishes Jurgen will stay at Liverpool forever or until he retires from football. But in the event that he can’t grant us that wish, I implore the Liverpool hierarchy to stick with the identity that Klopp will leave us when the time comes that we must go searching for a new mechanic.