Now, before we get going and you all start throwing rocks at me, allow me to explain something. I think Jurgen Klopp is a footballing God. What he has achieved in his career to date is almost second to none. Here is a man who took an underachieving Borussia Dortmund team, who had finished in 13th place the season before, and on his first try he won the German Supercup with them and finished 6th. Within two years, he’d turned the club around and they won back-to-back Bundesliga titles, knocking the all-conquering Bayern Munich from their perch. He even managed to get them to a Champions League Final, which they lost, and all without the financial muscle of their Bavarian comrades.
Then he arrived at my beloved Liverpool and within five years had brought so much success that we were in danger of dying from smugness. Champions League Winners; Champions of the World; Super Cup Winners; and, most importantly of all, Premier League Winners. In just half a decade, Klopp had managed to do what Houllier (RIP), Benitez, and Rodgers couldn’t: end that 30-year drought for the title.
The man is a walking Adonis and, as far as I’m concerned, he can do no wrong. When there was talk that he’d see out his six-year tenure and move on, I was willing to offer him my first-born as a sacrifice. When he signed on until 2024, I wept like a baby with a skinned knee.
It’s safe to say, I’m a fan.
So, dear reader, you might be wondering what has possessed me to make such a bold claim as ‘Why Jurgen Klopp Needs To Leave Liverpool When His Contract Runs Out’? Well, it all started, as so many of these things do, with a few beers.
Stepping outside to have a cigarette (yes, I know, smoking is neither big nor clever), I was stood freezing my ass off with not a lot to do for 10 minutes other than to think about life, the universe, and the car crash that has been Liverpool FC’s season so far. Now, I don’t blame Klopp for what’s happened. It’s been a crazy-ass campaign for nearly every team, but the fact that Liverpool has had more injury woes than a team full of Andy Carrol’s means that the only chance we’d have of going back to back is if aliens appeared over Manchester and abducted the entire city populace. It’s safe to say, the league is gone. Hopefully, we can do something in the Champions League, but without the roar of the Anfield faithful to push us over the inevitable hurdles that we’ll face, then I’m not holding my breath.
This means it’s going to be a trophy-less season for us. Yet, it isn’t the end of the world and I don’t for one minute subscribe to this insane thought, usually pushed by bitter Mancs, that this Liverpool team is just a flash in the pan. We’ll get to the summer, buy in some quality and, with Big Bad Virgil back in the heart of our defence, will be challenging on all fronts this time next year. You cannot deny the amount of class within the ranks; it just needs some pepping up, that’s all. No, the reason I think Kloop and Liverpool should part ways in 2024 came to me as my brass monkeys started to freeze off. The succession.
Look at those managers who have reigned long at their clubs: Ferguson, Wenger, Curbishley…as soon as they stepped down, the weight of their success was too much for the next man in. Manchester United burnt through three managers, two world-class and one David Moyes before they lucked out on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. And if the rumors are to be believed, he’s taking a lot of his cues from Sir Alex anyway, meaning they had to get the greatest manager in their history back in some capacity to stop them from sinking like the Titanic.
Then there’s Arsenal. The cries of ‘Wenger Out’ were so deafening that it’s a surprise he didn’t just flip them off in his last match, before going out to the car park and sh*ting on each supporter’s car as a goodbye present. The fans got what they wanted, but what did it get them? Unai Emery, whose biggest contribution to Premier League history is as a meme- ‘Good Ebening’-, whatever the hell that six-match nightmare with Freddie Ljungberg was all about, and Mikel Arteta. He may very well have won them the FA Cup, but is now being exposed quicker than Adam Johnson outside a school disco. Those same fans who were baying for Wenger’s blood would quite happily blow a monkey to get him back at the helm right now.
And don’t think I was joking about Alan Curbishley either. He not only managed to get Charlton into the Premier League, but he even had them threatening the Champions League spots at one point. So what did they do? Got rid of him, hired Alan Goddamn Pardew, and folded faster than Superman on laundry day. It’s just the way it goes.
Whoever replaces a successful manager, no matter what level of success that might be, will always be holding a poisoned chalice. This isn’t like it was ‘back in the day’ where Liverpool could replace Shankly with Paisley, Paisley with Fagan, and Fagan with King Kenny. There is no waiting around for the next anointed one to take over because if you do, you die. Just ask the red half of Manchester. When Klopp does leave, the safe money is on Gerrard ascending to the throne, but I’m not convinced that’s the right move. There’s no taking away from his achievements at Rangers—he’s taken a team that was always going to be also-rans to their city neighbors and kicked Celtic right in the kiddlehoppers—but his man-management skills leave a lot to be desired. He might get away with balling out Premier League rejects and teenagers in the press or behind closed doors, but if he walks into a dressing room full of ready-made superstars and tries that, well, we’ve all seen what happened to Frank Lampard, club legend or not.
So in 2024, when Klopp is due to part ways with the club, and after another couple of years of winning everything in sight, he needs to go quietly into that dark night, no matter who ends up with the job, or else he and Liverpool FC run the serious risk of cursing whoever takes the helm.
Either that or sign up for another 30 years.