Jurgen Klopp recently celebrated five years as manager of Liverpool Football Club, and is there a way to view his time there other than as an overwhelming success? If anyone can make that case, we’d love to hear it. Klopp’s success won’t have come as a huge surprise to people who watched his career at Dortmund (let’s not forget that there was a lot of hype when he arrived). Still, even to those people, how he’s done it and the speed with which he has, along with the fact that this Liverpool success train may have only just gotten underway, will have been staggering. So how did we get here, and what might the future hold? Let’s find out.
How We Got Here
It took a while for the trophies to start flowing into the cabinet, but Liverpool under Klopp have never been a boring side. Quite the opposite. In fact, if anything, you could argue that they were even more entertaining to watch in the early days than they are now. Some memorable, goal-heavy games early into the German’s tenure showed just how heavy metal a Klopp side could be. In the following seasons, the weaknesses were eradicated, and the strengths were fortified. By the time the Champions League and Premier League trophies rolled around, Liverpool were a well-oiled machine without any discernible weakness. Solid at the back, fast on the sides, destructive in the middle, and creative and powerful up front. Any team with that kind of balance is destined to win football games, and Liverpool sure did win a lot.
The Next Five Years
The focus has been on Liverpool’s domestic dominance, but let’s not forget that they’ve been no slouches in the Champions League in recent years either. They made the final two years in a row, winning the second in the 2018/2019 final against Tottenham Hotspur, and it’s not just conceivable that Klopp would pick up another medal in Europe’s premier football competition, but also likely. Let’s not forget that the teams with the best Champions League odds are the ones who have performed well in the competition in recent years, and, aside from Real Madrid, no side has won more matches in Europe than Liverpool. There was a sense last year that the Premier League was the priority, but now that they’ve won that, and also have a deeper squad, you would expect the side to throw everything at the Champions League once more.
Things are looking even more promising in the domestic league, at least for this season. The freak 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa aside, Liverpool have looked composed and ready to win another title. That’d be bad news for rivals in any season, but especially during the 2020/2021 campaign, when it seems as if all of Liverpool’s potential rivals are having one sort of problem or another. Do any of the main contenders — which may realistically include only Manchester City — look like they can knock Liverpool off their perch? For sure, the side will be confident that they make it two titles in a row. And after that? Well, you wouldn’t bet against them going on a spree of dominance.
It’s true that Liverpool’s flaws have been minimal or non-existent in the past couple of seasons. They didn’t win every game, but what side ever does? They will surely run into difficulties at one point or another, however. All good things must come to an end, after all. There were many successful years at Dortmund before it all came to a halt, but surely Klopp will have learned from that experience. If he has, and the board keeps writing big checks to get the players that he wants, then we could be watching the beginning of a dynasty, one that rivals Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United. As Klopp’s Liverpool side have shown again and again, anything is possible when the big and friendly German is at the helm.