Before Borussia Dortmund supporters had any chance to enjoy their superb team and excellent recent success last summer, things were already beginning to crumble.
Having fallen just short of winning the Champions League and the Bundesliga last season, losing only to Bayern Munich (no shame in that), everything has dismantled as quickly as it reached an apex.
Dortmund now, almost unbelievably, will return from the winter break attempting to move out of the relegation zone and avoid a humiliating and shock relegation.
Arsenal fans have been calling for their club to pursue the BVB manager, and one feels he might actually leave simply due to feeling that he can never return them to former their glories.
There are strangely some promising signs for Dortmund in and amongst this mess – they have both had the 3rd most and conceded the 3rd least shots in the Bundesliga.
This suggests Dortmund are still dominating games with their pressing style, they just simply need to find some confidence to start winning at both ends of the pitch.
The problems started last summer, as Bayern polished silky midfielder Mario Gotze and top striker Robert Lewandowski, while injuries to prominent players Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus have not helped.
Dortmund did recently gain a draw with second-placed Wolfsburg, though they squandered the lead twice, as a defensively and mentally frail BVB appeared to have forgotten how to win. Klopp still has undoubted pedigree as a manager, and his CEO has said that the club will never sack him, but this is clearly his greatest test.
The fans and board remain vehemently behind Klopp, whilst from the outside the club appears to be in crisis, the reality is this a little extreme.
The winter break came at a good time for Dortmund, who still more than possess the quality and potential to gain a top-6 finish, assisted by the division being so tight from top to bottom.
Apparent from Bayern Munich leading it by 15 points. Obviously.
Thus one sense that Klopp’s reign at Dortmund will only end when he wishes- the BVB boss will not have to jump before he is pushed.
With top European clubs clearly interested in Klopp, one sense that the end might be sooner than many unexpected during BVB’s superb previous season. The manager is perfectly capable of turning BVB around, but Bayern Munich are so utterly dominate in Germany that he must feel challenging them again anytime soon is impossible.
Bayern are able to dominate the division by taking the best players of every other club, including Dortmund, and this does not look likely to change.
Thus an appropriate conclusion to Klopp’s superb work at BVB appears to be revitalising them to an improved finish to the season, attaining a respectable League finish.
This would allow Dortmund’s disappointing start to the season to be rightly forgotten in light of his wider achievements at the club, whilst showing top clubs that Klopp can manage a team out of adversity. Leaving Dortmund this summer would then allow Klopp to gain a deserved move to another top club that have the funds to win domestic and European titles.
Time will tell, but whoever were to take Klopp on would be hiring an outstanding manager, a more than capable leader of any club.
Here’s hoping this comes only after fixing the current mess at BVB.