Jürgen Klopp is enjoying the fruits of a great start to the season in a personal sense, as he continues to get his biggest decisions right…
THE manager is having a good season.
Important – maybe as important as any player in the squad doing so.
We always neglect to judge managerial form. So much is fine tuned to the between the goalposts stuff.
Brendan Rodgers has a tremendous season in 2013-14 and a horrific one in 2014-15. It isn’t as simple as Luis Suarez and Mario Balotelli.
Jürgen Klopp has, in the main, scored highly at the end of each Liverpool campaign he’s overseen.
Last season, he probably registers the lowest of such scores. He underperforms on par with Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
On Sunday, he skipped to The Kop with the vibrancy of an on-stage Chris Martin waving a flashing wristband to a body of strobe lighting. Something the village of Liverpool greatly approves.
There was no such vigour last season. Legs and minds were heavy. A man wrote a book and people lost their shit.
After Liverpool lost 3-1 to Brentford at the Community Stadium on January 2, Klopp stated that “we are responsible for the defeat”.
The “we” wasn’t emphasised. Collective or otherwise, what had transpired was a triple change at half time.
Van Dijk’s was enforced through injury, but Andy Robertson for Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keita for Harvey Elliott wasn’t.
It was around the eighth substitution he’d made to rectify a selection which dated back to Nat Phillips for Joe Gomez on the second game against Crystal Palace.
Some of the criticism was unarguable. Players playing 45 minutes plus when deemed not fit to start. A poor use of the new five-sub system. A case of mistrust and overthinking.
This season, his subs are working with aplomb. Every sub brings a drop to collective opposition shoulders. If he gets it wrong with Alexis Mac Allister at Wolves he isn’t punished at full time. Important, remember.
A meatier squad definitely helps. A squad with belief and confidence and Dominik Szobozslai is undoubtedly easier to manage.
Perhaps the greatest nod to the manager’s form was his decision to play Ibrahima Konate into returning fitness against LASK and Leicester City rather than Wolves and West Ham.
It could have gone wrong. It could be risk without reward and a sea of 140-character-criticism which only emphasises how special he is.
He’s vindicated again. He’s having a good season. Good seasons for managers are important. Remember this.
They’re important because everyone needs a win – especially in work.
We get wins from making reports and deadlines. From building things or finding a kettle that’s just boiled with plenty of water in.
This lot operate on the winning of football matches. Of countering opposition, preparing set pieces and picking the right lads.
It matters across the board. We all need to get it right. Scratch that, we all need the big fella to get it right.
We bestow responsibility to make us dance, to play synths and gee us up to frenzy.
Every letter, two foot tall. Every tear a waterfall. We live and die by their seasons, their selections and subs.
He’s seasoning well. It’s important, remember it.