Since his highly anticipated move to Anfield, Jurgen Klopp has failed to disappoint the Liverpool supporters. With an attractive and energetic playing style always present in his side, the only thing that was missing was silverware. Multiple cup finals left Klopp and Liverpool saddened due to the club ending their seasons with nothing to show for their efforts. Thrilling fixtures and outrageous touchline moments all arrived with the German manager. However, until they managed to complete a monumental upset in Europe, it was not certain that the flashy football would show legitimate progression.
In the 2017-18 Champions League, Klopp and his men managed to surpass English rivals Manchester City and ultimately went on to compete in the competition’s final. An unfortunate defeat left the reds bitterly disappointed as the game was decided by two vital errors from the Liverpool goalkeeper. From the moment they knocked out Pep Guardiola’s City side, it looked as though Liverpool were on the way up.
In an attempt to finish the next season with a trophy, Liverpool went all out and performed at a consistently high level that will be admired for years. A close battle with Manchester City left the EPL title to be decided on the final day of the season as City clinched the league by just one point. The small margins that cost Liverpool the Premier League would not go on to undervalue their season. That is because it was Liverpool who managed to fight off their demons to win the 2018-19 UCL just one season after they lost in the competition’s final.
Jurgen Klopp had hit a high point in his career. Third times a charm certainly proved to be true for the Liverpool boss who had lost twice in Champions League finals. And although Jurgen may have hit his peak, Liverpool fans are still waiting for him to accomplish something else. Liverpool finds themselves in a very unique situation in that the club would likely value the win of a Premier League over that of a Champions League.
Most clubs would regard success on the European stage to be greater than any domestic achievement. However, this definitely does not apply to Liverpool. Quite simply, Liverpool’s league title drought continues to expand. For some reason, the reds have been unable to win the English league for almost 30 years. This, of course, has come with taunts from Manchester United fans over the years, which has emphasised the importance for Liverpool to end their drought.
It goes without saying, the EPL matters more to the Liverpool support than anything else does. Whoever is in charge when their club finally overcomes this bizarre curse will surely stand out among great club legends. There is also no doubt that Klopp will wish to bring as much success to Liverpool during his time at the club.
Rightly so, Liverpool are getting well-earned respect from football pundits and fans, as they are expected to push Man City all the way again this season. Before assuming this, the possibility must be considered whether last season will simply be a one-season-wonder. Given that they have only produced to a fantastic level for only one season it is not inevitable that their quality on the pitch will continue to improve. However, what is unavoidable is the unbelievable energy coming from the club. Everyone at Liverpool is clearly dedicating all their valuable time into football. The quality isn’t guaranteed to repeat itself, but their work ethic will surely be seen throughout this new era for Liverpool.
Looking back at what Klopp could try to improve on from last season, there isn’t an awful lot. A deadly attacking trio, a midfield packed with workhorses and a defence filled with world-class talent that lays in front of possibly the best keeper in Europe. The thought of spending millions this summer would have felt like spending for the sake of spending. So how can Klopp win the EPL? What can he do differently?
The answer does not lie in tactics or new acquisitions. The only dramatic change Klopp can make is how he runs the team. In order to give Liverpool the best opportunity at liftin the illustrious Premier League trophy, he must narrow his focus. The easy claim that the team is ready to fight on all fronts won’t do Liverpool any good. Jurgen Klopp must prioritise the competitions that his side participates in. The Premier League is what matters for Liverpool…it’s all that matters.
Is Klopp likely to drop his strong desire to retain the Champions League? Probably not. The Liverpool boss knows that competing equally for all four trophies is a risk that could come back to haunt them. Luckily for Klopp is Pep Guardiola’s hunger for the Champions League. We may find that the two current best teams in England will swap over silverware this coming season as the club objectives do differ. What is for certain is that perfection is needed for Jurgen Klopp to recover the trophy that has been missing from Liverpool’s museum for so long.