The new Liverpool manager is a Liverpool manager. He’s passionate, he’s successful, his style of play matches the city and its lust for seeing their team take games by the scruff of the neck and play with passion and pride.
Jurgen Klopp, the floppy hair, the thick-framed glasses, the designer stubble, the Johnny Depp of football management is as dreamy as he is right for the job. He’s simply the perfect fit, right? A heady mix of geeky hipster and man of the people. Klopp for the Kop.
Liverpool are excited by this appointment. Very excited. They’re excited by the man and what he stands for, they’re excited by the style of play they can look forward to, they’re excited about the ambition and optimism of the board. They’re excited to be talked about again.
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But there’s optimism and then there’s optimism. There’s the optimism that Liverpool fans had under brendan Rodgers – the kind of hope-springs-eternal optimism we are used to from Rodgers press conferences and post-match interviews. The kind where no matter how badly you played, there was still some minor detail to extract from the dire performance.
Usually it amounted to character. We never really found out what that character was.
But in Klopp the optimism just feels different. It doesn’t feel like we’re fumbling around for tiny minutiae, plankton sized morsels of optimism. This is a full-on case of fan-girling masses latching on to the Klopp-Kraze.
It doesn’t matter if he took three years to win something at Dortmund – and the doubts about whether or not he’ll get three years to win something at Liverpool. It doesn’t matter if he led Dortmund to seventh place last season – not just miles behind Bayern Munich, but miles behind Champions League qualification. The feel-good factor has returned and none of the haters will change that.
Just the mere fact that Liverpool have been linked with a move for Robert Lewandowski is enough show the pulling power of Jurgen Klopp’s charisma. It’s a far cry from the text messages that Steven Gerrard allegedly sent to potential transfer targets in an attempt to lure them to Anfield, presumably because the name of Brendan Rodgers simply carried no weight.
It’s hard to argue that Klopp isn’t a step up from what went before, and the optimism of all of that isn’t killed by a couple of bad results in the past. The upgrade is just too substantial – being a Liverpool fan is like owning an old plastic smartphone and upgrading to the new iPhone. It just feels like the real thing, you just know.
The press and fans alike are seduced by the man’s charisma and his charm, and for the moment nothing will put a damper on that. But I just wonder what happens when the honeymoon is over. Will Klopp’s charisma still be able to impress the press? Or will his charm wear thin after a while?
But for the moment it doesn’t matter if there is a veneer that fades, it doesn’t matter if Klopp’s toothy smile is not always perfect. Even if the persona fades, the optimism is real. And at a team that seems to thrive on passion and positivity, that seems to be all that matters
Klopp is a heavyweight of a manager, and while Rodgers is a good guy who means well and will have a big future in management, he is too ‘new age’ for Liverpool. Klopp won’t tell the press about character and heart, he won’t use the new age buzz words that Rodgers did.
And because of that, Liverpool have real optimism now, not manufactured ‘positivity’. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s new manager really is a ‘Liverpool manager’. After all, being a Klopptimist is so much better than being a Brelieber.
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— FootballFanCast.com (@FootballFanCast) October 14, 2015