A number of weeks ago Liverpool were crowned Champion League winners for 2019. As players, management, supporters and the bandwagon brigade celebrated we could not ignore the sheer admiration everybody had for their manger Jürgen Klopp. Whether you are a Liverpool supporter or not a lot can learnt from his management style.
Jürgen Klopp’s passion for the game of football is evident. The trademark fist pumping when his team scores, his admirable sense of humour and his sprints down the touchline it is hard to not like the guy!
Early Managerial Years
He started his managerial career at the age of 33 with Mainz 05-a club that he played for over 300 times. When he took over Mainz 05 were staring relegation to the third tier of German football in the face. However through Klopp’s expertise and leadership they were steered to safety. Perhaps his abilities may have been questioned but eventually guiding Mainz to promotion and qualification for the UEFA cup had to extinguish any doubt people had about the man.
Klopp worked his magic yet again when he moved to Borussia Dortmund who had finished 13thin the Bundesliga the season prior to his arrival. He immediately took steps in making Dortmund a feared club again. Although during his first season Dortmund missed out on European football through goal difference Klopp’s ability to motivate his players was evident. During his tenure with Borussia Dortmund he led them fromfinishing 13thin the league to winning successive titles , even the league and cup double in 2011-12. There is no doubt that he achieved legendary status at the club.
Having joined Liverpool in 2015 he brought his philosophy with him. Restoring the clubs reputation as a force within English and European football was the main goal for Klopp. Fast forward to the 2018-2019 this has somewhat been achieved. He lost the title to Manchester City by one point but provided football supporters with one of the most exciting Premier League title races for a number of years. A year on from defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, Klopp tasted victory in Europe this season as Liverpool captured their sixth Champions League title.
What makes Klopp so special?
“You can speak about spirit, or you can live it. We took the team to a lake in Sweden where there was no electricity. We went for five days without food.”
Keeping players grounded is of large importance for Klopp as he believes that “too much comfort makes you comfortable”. The spirt that Liverpool has shown all season especially in Europe has Klopp written all over it, it is thoroughly inspiring. To keep the faith and fight back against the powerhouse that was Barcelona and win is a fitting example. He believes bringing players away from the busy everyday lives that they live in is important. It removes distractions from players which provides them with the opportunity to become grounded and results in an reawakening of their spirt.
“We need to change from doubters to believers”
Instilling “belief” was the first thing he did when arriving at Liverpool. The above quote provided supporters with some food for thought and a degree of optimism – if they as a club want to achieve supporters must begin to believe in the team.
“It’s not a problem that you lose. The problem is how long it takes to win”
Klopp has been open about using defeat as a stepping stone towards success. Valuable lessons can be obtained from setbacks that will lead to a teams success. Lessons were learned from the defeat in the 2018 Champions League final which were rectified 12 months later when they were crowned 2019 Champions League winners. Furthermore Klopp’s philosophy of using defeat as a stepping stone towards success and an opportunity to grow stronger has been evident earlier in his managerial career with Dortmund. Having lost out on European football through goal difference he used this as a catalyst and achieved European football the following year.
While failure can be difficult to take at times, perception of such failure is important. What do we mean by this? Once you have a setback (failure) in your life it should be seen as an opportunity to grow and be stronger for the next time such circumstances would be presented to you. We are all on a journey and aiming to grow every day. Some people want to help you on this journey and others do not. When managers with the qualities that Jürgen Klopp’s have comes into your path they should not be ignored or dismissed. One manager can change your life and career, which Klopp has done with his Liverpool team.
With another European Cup securely stored away and finishing the season with 97 points it has been a successful season for Liverpool. They are in a good place at the moment and are once again getting ready to battle it out at the top of the table this coming season. Their first match is kicking off on August the 9thagainst newly promoted Norwich City at home. With morale and confidence high fans are surely looking forward to see how their manager Jürgen Klopp and his team will perform in the coming season.