Klopp’s Stubbornness is Undermining His Elite Manager Tag

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A regular feature anytime Klopp’s Liverpool are in some form of a slump is the Rodgers-Klopp points comparison after so and so matches. It is a favourite whipping stick of a section of British pundits. Those stats are used without context as a dagger through the heart of another “foreigner” who has taken “the job” of a promising British coach.

Richard Keys tweeted the updated version of this stat just after the Spurs loss. After Liverpool’s draw against Newcastle in September, Tim Sherwood – in analysing the match – questioned whether the club has done any better under the German than they did under Rodgers. Many more have made similar comments. But I do not blame them. Klopp’s stubbornness is fully behind his reputation being questioned.

When LFC fans were tracking Klopp’s plane from Germany to Merseyside in October 2015, they were not expecting to be celebrating the second anniversary of his appointment with the mediocre spine he inherited still a prominent feature of his team. The hope was that being an elite manager, Klopp was definitely going to develop under-tapped talents (as there were a few) and discard the mediocre (there were many of those). Klopp, however, was not on the same page as the fans. He was going to be a miracle worker instead; turning average and mediocre into world beaters.

That approach is admirable if it comes off but with the level of talent he inherited his approach smacked of arrogance. Nothing more than the scorn fans pour on the excessive praise he gives his players hints the failure of his approach. One such ridiculous claim was calling Henderson the most under-rated midfielder in England. Klopp was justifying turning the ill-equipped Englishman into a number “six”. In January, when fans were calling for reinforcement he uttered the ridiculous claim that the squad was too strong. “We cannot just get any player. These players are too good and the squad too strong”, he said. He called Lovren an outstanding centre-back in April. He claimed there are not 5 centre-backs better than his incompetent bunch, suggesting top clubs would be interested in signing his defenders. Even Rodgers, the owner of some spectacular gaffes in his time at Liverpool, would be proud of such empty statements.

Pep Guardiola and other top managers purged their squad of average players in the summer. Meanwhile, Klopp was strangely justifying the trust he has in his average squad.

“….A big part of football and life is really putting faith in the people you work with –trust them-because they can all improve……I believe in trust. I trust people until they give me an opportunity or a possibility not to trust them anymore. That’s how I understand life….” Klopp was quoted in September prior to the Burnley match.

No wonder he has a squad of over pampered average and mediocre players who talk big after one good game and shrink when the going gets tough.

Liverpool went into the summer window needing to address problems in central defence; inability of its midfield to deal with very defensive teams and a lack of leadership across the pitch. So far there is no sign that any of these have been resolved. Yet Klopp talks about his team been good enough to challenge for the title and not being “500 miles” behind Manchester City. Preposterous!

It is apt that Tottenham instigated the gloom being experienced now. Spurs take away the excuse of fat chequebooks been the only way to stay competitive. Smartness and having a plan have a place in the game too. So there is no excuse for not getting a player like Paredes (a €23 million signing for Mancini’s Zenith who is a massive upgrade on Henderson) and Manolas (a player far better than Matip and Lovren) when doing a deal for Salah.

Of the eleven players that started the Spurs match only two were signed by the German. Klopp’s stubbornness of persisting with mediocre and average players in the hope of improving them has reaped little rewards. This stubbornness of wanting to turn water into wine when most of the water he’s holding needs throwing away will only continue dragging down with his reputation as an elite manager.

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  1. You have said it all,Klop is to blam for the present problem liverpool fc is facing,i am a fan of Klop but i’m not a fan of mediocrity , Klop is gradually drifting towards mediocrity as a result of his stubbornness.

  2. Yes . A I am passionate fan of Klopp and not a fan mediocrity. Somewhat a good way to put it until hopefully not, the hammer falls.

  3. Liverpool’s defence was garbage before Klopp came and he has had two full years, four transfer windows, and unlimited funds to repair it . . . and has failed spectacularly.
    Mignolet still error-prone and the other two no better, Moreno still a regular despite being poor defensively, Lovren seemingly started his Liverpool poorly and is getting worse with every passing season, Matip is borderline good enough . . . if he had a strong partner alongside him . . . Klavan simply isn’t good enough and wouldn’t be in the squads of the other top teams and Henderson gives no protection to this terrible defence whilst playing in a role he isn’t suited to. In short, we are crap at the back and, after two years of being in the job, and with an endless supply of money for new players, what he has achieved isn’t good enough. Good going forward, but we’d do better with a proper striker, but this Achilles heel is destroying us.
    He obviously can’t repair the defence so, sorry, he needs to go!

  4. I am a big fan of Koop because I really love him but he should have know some player are not fit to this big club called Liverpool when club like Chelsea , man city , man united , are strong their squad we are busy build on those crap in our club let look at it this way could any club mention used lovren as their center back or used Henderson flop captain as our defensive midfielder or used Moreno as their left back talkless of that Liverpool goal keeper which of this club mention will be without a good and reliable strikers I don’t just understand this klop, football in england is different from other so he need to see what other are doing in their club we need him because he’s the only one that can do all this but he need to wipe off the likes of our goal keepers, lovren,Moreno, take captain band from Henderson that is our problem,get us a better defensive midfielder a complete sharp striker and we will be alright we still have some talent in the squad Arnold, Gomes Ben wood and so on for the back up we need mature squad not all this please tell this klop this thing is killing us imagine Tottenham flog us I can’t imagine that I could not eat if we continue like this another club will surpass us please tell him if you can

  5. When Klopp was appointed, i was elated. Like this author i thought he would going to fix our defense and goalkeepers. I do not expect him to win the league after 2 or 3 seasons but progress like what Spurs are experiencing is good enough. If we have that titles would come, i am sure of it.
    2 years and 4 windows later what Klopp had given us is more or less the same as when he came, a good offence but terrible defense and keepers. And now the midfield is mimicking the defense, all because Klopp overconfidence on his average players and his own coaching ability.
    Also at first his heavy metal football exites but then we and other managers soon found out that Klopp is actually a one trick pony, he has no plan B both tactically and for his players.
    In short after 2 years, many millions of pounds and 4 windows later we are no better off, actually worse than than before. No titles and one CL appearance, well at least Rodgers challenged for the title. We now now closer to relegation than the top.
    Which begs the obvious question, why is Klopp still here? Why does Klopp’s apologists still insist he is the man for the job when all evidence points that we or more accurately FSG had got the wrong man, again? Klopp says he is going to fix this? You mean he needs 2 years to fix a defense and goalkeepers that all fans can see is so f*******y incompetent? Is this the same guy who said “there are not 5 defenders who are better than our own “? You expect me to believe that now, all of a sudden Klopp are able to fix this like how all of a sudden Rodgers can become the next Shanks?
    I think FSG and Klopp apologist must be smoking something if this is in their mind.
    When FSG sack Rodgers, which was the right thing to do, they should had called Rafa instead and said ” hey you know what Rafa, those cowboys jerk you around and you still had won us a CL and FA CUP, not some mickey mouse trophy and you got us in the CL every season and challenged for the league. Why don’t you come back and finish the job and we would really back you this time”.
    We still can do this now but i am not having high hopes as we all know, FSG like Klopp and Rodgers have no clue in what they are doing and fame for their lack of leadership.
    Now you know why we got Henderson as captain? Thats right, no leadership. And this is the club that gave us Stevie and Carra.


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