AS today marks Jürgen Klopp’s 49th birthday, JOSH SEXTON has picked out 10 highlights so far from the mouth of the manager throughout his brief spell at Anfield.
Like it or not, part of the charm has been how the German deals with the media – the frowns, the groans, the deliberate swig of the water or the guffawing laugh. Even the clobber has led to some knowing nods, The Beatles T-shirt a particular highlight. Of course, what happens ON the pitch is what really matters – and there have been some memorable moments there too in his eight months in charge – but off it, Klopp has nailed it.
No.10 – Klopp Cam
When the Reds were drawn against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League quarter-finals, it seemed the perfect tie for the football romantic.
There was a keen sense of intrigue as to how Klopp would fare against his old team, so much so that a German TV station had set up a 90 minute ‘Klopp Cam’ during the game, so that their viewers could see every emotion of the German boss.
When asked for his thoughts on ‘Klopp Cam’, the man himself said: “If someone is silly enough to want to see my face for 90 minutes during a game, I cannot change the world.”
N0.9 – Conquer The Ball, Not The World
When Klopp was appointed as the successor to Brendan Rodgers, many believed that he had the credentials to take the club to the next level.
He brought with him an air of positivity, which resonated with the fans, and gave them the feeling that Liverpool could, once again, be a superpower in world football.
Klopp moved to dampen the idea that he could take over the world, however, saying: “I am not the guy who is going to go out and shout ‘we are going to conquer the world’ or something like this. But we will conquer the ball. Yeah? Each fucking time!”
N0.8 – A Team Of Attackers?
Liverpool have been plagued with injuries since the arrival of the German, particularly when they were stripped down to bare bones by hamstring injuries in the winter.
But, for once, they were blessed with a plethora of attacking options after their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge all in the matchday squad, as the Reds had their full arsenal at the ready.
Asked after the game how he planned to fit each player in, Klopp said: “I could play them all together. We could play 4-1-4! Hang on, I’ve forgotten a player haven’t I? Okay, 4-1-5!”
N0.7 – The Goal That Never Was
Liverpool’s 2-0 loss away to Newcastle is a result that fans would be quick to try and put out of mind.
However, there is an argument to say that the game could’ve gone differently had Alberto Moreno’s sensational effort not been wrongly ruled out for offside.
When Klopp was quizzed about the disallowed goal, he said: “Because we weren’t good enough today the linesman thought: ‘Well, you don’t make world-class goals if you play this shit’.”
No.6 – The Long Walk To Kazan
Everybody has their opinion on the effect that playing on a Thursday and Sunday, due to Europa League commitments, has on a team’s Premier League campaign.
However, this is particularly necessary when being forced to travel to and from the furthest reaches of Europe, for example Kazan in Russia, in the case of Klopp’s team.
When asked how the travel would affect his side, the German said: “It’s ok. They flew, they didn’t walk. We slept on the plane. Matt (Head of Press) slept the whole way!”
N0.5 – Young Players Aren’t Horses
The recently-departed Jordan Rossiter injured his hamstring while on international duty earlier in the season, having been forced to play three games in just five days.
It is hard to argue against Klopp’s disdain for the scheduling which led to the youngster’s injury, given the lack of time to recover in between games – particular for a player at such a young age.
When asked for his thoughts on the matter, the boss expressed his disbelief, saying: “These young players are our future. If we handle them likes horses, then we get horses.”
N0.4 – Kloppo On The Ale
After Liverpool’s humbling 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United, the gaffer can be forgiven for not feeling too much like partying.
However, Klopp also expressed the importance of not going too over the top when celebrating a win, taking each situation on its own merits.
When asked how his team would recover from this particular loss, he said: “You have to get information in each situation. You’ll never find me three days after a win, drunk in a hedge and still celebrating.”
N0.3 – That Loss To Palace
There was no question that the appointment of Klopp had brought the feel-good factor back to Anfield.
The Reds had lost just one of their first 10 games under their new manager, including impressive victories against Chelsea and Manchester City.
However, Klopp reflected on his start with a sense of regret at having to suffer that one loss, saying: “I would really like to change my personality, but I can’t forget this fucking loss against Crystal Palace.”
N0.2 – Purple Bins
The former Dortmund manager has already produced one moment that will live long in the history of the club and, funnily enough, it came against his old club.
The Reds had gone into the second leg at Anfield with a slight advantage, given that they had grabbed an away goal during the first leg at the Westfalenstadion, though this was swiftly cancelled out by the away side in the return fixture.
Klopp bemoaned Dortmund’s first-half goals, insisting: “We had a good plan in the first half but conceded two goals, so you can throw your plan in the purple bin.”
Is right Kloppo, lad.
N0.1 – One Word
There were plenty of words that can be used to describe the Reds 3-0 thrashing of Man City at Anfield, given the manner of the performance and the revenge exacted from the League Cup final defeat just days before.
Liverpool displayed the same swagger that they possessed earlier in the season at the Etihad, to complete a convincing double over Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
However, Klopp only needed one word to sum up the victory, as he exclaimed: “The best word I can say to describe this is: Boom!”
At least we know we can sit back and let Klopp continue to create more memorable moments like these.
He’s boss, isn’t he?
Let us know your favourite Klopp quotes.