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    The Kops’ Klopp

    Arguably one of the most passionate, enigmatic managers in the world, Jürgen Klopp has certainly re-invigorated an under achieving Liverpool team.

    Before 2008, not many people heard of Jürgen Klopp, his rise to managerial footballing fame was definitely with an over-achieving Borussia Dortmund side.

    The way Klopp plays his football seems fairly simple, but it’s not. Klopp plays a high pressing game, using his variations of the 4-3-3 formations. Analysing the intensity of pressure from Liverpool players, it is ridiculous how quick they win the ball back and launch a counter attack.

    The sheer work ethic he gets out of this Liverpool team is outstanding. You look at the way Liverpool carry an attack and think with the amount of pace and fantastic rhythmic passing, how can a team suppress their squadron of attacking talent?

    Liverpool has scored more times from open play (11)  than any other side in the Premier League. This is because the free-flowing attacking football that Klopp has stamped on Liverpool FC.

    The quintet of Lallana, Coutinho, Mané, Firmino and Gini Wijnaldum works an absolute treat for this energetic attacking football. 

    Combined, all five of these players have accumulated 20 goals and assists this season. This is an attack that is scary. Especially when you have pacey players like Sturridge and Origi yet to feature regularly.

    The key to Klopp’s play is the quality his team possess in the final third. The front 3 interchange positions, which causes a strain to an opposition back four.

    When these talented players swap and shift, this gives the full backs or centre backs a new problem and this forces the adaption of a defenders game. Especially when the front 3 are talented in different ways. This is a clever tactic Klopp used at Dortmund.

    In the 4-1 Dortmund Champions League victory in 2013 versus Real Madrid, Klopps forwards were constantly interchanging confusing the Madrid defence.

    This freedom and flexibility in the final third can add a new dimension to an attacking line. It allows different players to attack different defenders, which brings about a fear of the unknown to a defending player.

    Dortmund were absolutely ruthless with their counter attacking display, converting defence to attack in a matter of seconds.  Klopps counter attacking comes from his two centre backs and a holding midfielder being the only players behind the ball. The fullbacks are channelled up and down the wings throughout the game, adding width and the ability for his trequartista type players such as Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho to tuck in and be more direct towards goal.

    Another reason why Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world is his player handling seems to be admirable. Watching him celebrate with the players and socialising off the pitch with the players is a great thing to see.

    It was only this week that Klopp mentioned that despite being the only player (before the FA cup tie vs. Plymouth) to not have played under him, he remained very socially active with young England starlet Joe Gomez.  This is how you get the best out of players. Morale is massive in football.

    Look at Chelsea last year. A title defending team playing terribly. Why? The players were unhappy with the treatment of the Chelsea staff by José Mourinho.

    You see the whole Liverpool squad going on scouting missions to see Barcelona together, Klopp and players smiling. That’s what man management is all about. Look at Lallana; he looks an absolute gem this year. Why? Maybe because Klopp knows how to get the best out of players.

    It is similar to how Sir Alex Ferguson got the best out of mediocre players. Fergie had some awfully mediocre players that played out of their skin for him, similarly to how players play for Klopp now.

    Lovren, Lucas, Can, Moreno, Milner, Henderson, Origi and Mignolet are all mediocre players. But Klopp gets the very best out of them and that’s the difference between him and Brendan Rodgers.

    Klopp has only had one full season. Most of Brendan Rodgers’ dead wood is still in Klopp’s best eleven and that is scary. Once Klopp gets that Champions League qualification, the persuasion of top talent will follow then Liverpool will be a massive threat in Europe.

    I think the one thing that highlights Klopp’s prowess, as a manager is the fact that this isn’t Jürgens’ team. He’s had two transfer windows without Champions League football and his team looks to be challenging for the title already. He got Liverpool to the Europa League final in his first season, a massive development from the mess left behind by Rodgers.

    He is stamping his German total football on Liverpool FC and they are thriving. With Champions League football, top talent will come and then it will be a scary time for Liverpool FC’s Premier League rivals.

    With a developing young squad playing intricate free-flowing attacking play, the future looks bright for Liverpool under Mr Klopp.

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    Item Reviewed: The Kops’ Klopp Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Josh Torlop
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