In 1775, amidst the uncertainty of America’s fight for Independence, America’s 2nd president, John Adams, wrote to his wife to advise of the struggles of the times. Adams represented approximately 1/3 of Americans at the time who believed independence was the right call and he was met with regular and stern opposition. Decisions were criticised, the small stones Adams was lifting to move the mountain were unrecognised – the people were impatient and everyone thought they knew best. Adams stuck to his guns, he kept moving the small stones, he believed progress was being made. Adams at all times maintained his convictions and stuck to the principles he believed would ensure his country would thrive long term. He never let external pressures force him into rash or unsolicited moves. Bold and progressive baby steps were made. A year later, Adams was part of the the committee to draft The Declaration of Independence. The rest is history. The mountain was moved.
The words of wisdom Adams wrote to his wife before his success and amidst the most testing of times:-
“We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it.”
It is a phrase that has always stuck with me. As Liverpool once again wastefully peppered Spartak Moscow’s goal on Tuesday, only for the opposition to score a debatable free-kick in a rare foray forward, it was a phrase, that, not for the first time, reminded me of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
As Jurgen Klopp cut an incredibly forlorn figure after the Spartak game, he was visibility frustrated at the questions over the defending and style of play. Klopp has a select way of playing that has won him trophies and taken him to the top of the game, and its clear that he isn’t willing to sacrifice his convictions in the furnace of building impatience shown by fans and media.
At all times, Klopp is keen to remind people how well Liverpool are playing, and how some of the results and goals conceded this season are no more than bad luck and silly lapses of concentration. A selection of fans have began to turn on Klopp these last few weeks, and although the results don’t lie, neither does Klopp, neither do the performances and neither do the statistics, we’re actually playing well and we should have won most of our games this season.
Like Adams, Klopp is a man of his convictions. He will not be swayed by the media, or the fans. We’re playing his way – high intensity, non-stop attacking football. Good for the neutral, bad for the heart. He will continue to move the small stones, make progressive improvements and refuse to make what he perceives to be the wrong decisions. He will look at the big picture and make the decisions that allow the club to thrive long term, and he will take the inevitable flak that such a long term approach renders from us short sighted fans.
There have been some despairing frustrations early this season, in what has produced an unfortunate extended highlight reel of our biggest weaknesses displayed on repeat, but Klopp out? It’s madness.
For those fans wanting Klopp out, perhaps you should think back to the last time we felt the grass was greener on the other side, and we replaced Rafa with Hodgson. Poulson, Cole, Konchesky and the closest Merseyside battle with relegation since Joe Royle’s Dogs of War ensued.
In Liverpool’s last six games, we’ve had 126 shots and conceded just 49. In those 6 games, Liverpool have won 1, drew 4 and lost 1, scoring 7 goals and conceding 12. A conversion rate of 5.5% per shot for Liverpool, and a conversion rate per of 28.6% for the opposition – these are truly remarkable and freakish stats that will not continue.
Klopp has improved the squad every year of his tenure. He has improved the players at his disposal. He has improved the style of play, he has improved the league position and he has improved the performance in the cups. The defence is a mess, but he sees it, and it will improve in time – another stone to be moved. He is not worried. He is looking at our performances and he totally believes, in fact he knows, that we are heading in the right direction. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’s beliefs demonstrate movements in the very epitome of this Sage advice:-
‘We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it.’
Hopefully It will come. Up the Reds.