Jurgen Klopp’s emotional departure from Borussia Dortmund last week may have come as one of the most significant pieces of news we have heard from the Bundesliga all season long, but it nevertheless arrived as something most of the footballing world inevitably saw coming.
There was only so much the enigmatic German coach could have been expected to put up with at Signal Iduna Park. Year after year, the BVB boardroom staff would seemingly decide to sell off one of their squad’s most valuable assets, with only the hope that Jurgen Klopp would be able to successfully source an adequate replacement.
Both Nuri Sahin and Shinji Kagawa made high profile moves to Real Madrid and Manchester United respectively with more than ill-fated results, whilst the dynamic duo of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski were unforgivably sold off to title rivals Bayern Munich in the past two seasons. Borussia Dortmund’s slide down the table throughout 2014/15 therefore hardly comes as much of a surprise.
So then, with a whole host of Premier League clubs certainly alerted by the news that the 47-year-old coach has finally left his post with BVB, just where will Jurgen Klopp end up plying his trade next season?
Although both Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with the German boss of late, how unbelievable would it be to suggest that Klopp could in-fact find himself in the east end with West Ham United in the not too distant future?
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Well for one thing, it certainly seems as if Big Sam is already on his way out the door at Upton Park, regardless of where the former Dortmund coach eventually ends up. The Hammers are playing as if they’re on holiday before the season is out, the West Ham chairmen have failed to reassure Allardyce of his position at the club next season – and perhaps most importantly of all – it looks like the tie between the manager and the fans down at the Boleyn Ground certainly seems as if it were severed a long time ago.
With an illustrious move to London’s Olympic Stadium fast approaching, the Hammers seemingly want to push themselves in a more ambitious and respected direction next season. No longer will the safety of mid-table obscurity be enough for the fans who have somewhat set their hearts on the prospect of playing in Europe sooner or later – especially with the rampaging start to the campaign their side produced earlier this term.
Big Sam, and his often reported ability to keep teams firmly placed in the Premier League and away from the threat of relegation, therefore looks to have taken West Ham just about as far as he can. Despite the gulf in class between the Hammers and the Borussia Dortmund teams of seasons past, looking towards Jurgen Klopp now might not be quite as ridiculous as initial reactions make it out to be.
Yes, without the lure of European football, landing a manager such as Klopp will certainly arrive as a tough ask. Yes, the players already on board at Upton Park would have to adapt quickly from the somewhat stagnant brand of football employed by Allardyce in the last few seasons, and yes, maybe Hammers fans are somewhat operating within the dream realm if they actually think this deal will take place in the summer – but ultimately in the grand scheme of things – very few sides in Europe can offer what West Ham have on the table at the moment.
No other team in the Premier League can talk of a move to one of the most renown stadiums in the country with the potential of further investment in the club if things start to progress. The Olympic Stadium is simply the gem in West Ham’s offer to any potential manager at the moment – and as Klopp is certainly used to developing players into world class stars rather than buying them as the finished article – the Hammers might just surprisingly act as the perfect fit for the passionate German manager.
As both Slaven Bilic and Rafa Benitez reportedly remain high on West Ham’s managerial shortlist this summer however, all wouldn’t quite be lost for the east end club if this spectacular rumour ultimately proves to be little more than just that.