A man who put on a bulletproof vest at the beginning of the campaign – lives on to tell the tale with many shots fired at him. An excellent season – but silverware will undoubtedly make a stronger statement.
Klopp’s philosophy at Liverpool appears to be rewarding compared to some of his counterparts. A team with a smaller bench than most of the Premier League top six, or top seven clubs, managed to reach a Champions League final and end for a second season in a row – in a Champions League slot.
If there was an award for a manager able to pay little and get almost everything out of a player – Klopp and his management team would be winning at life. The only way this will show ultimate reward is to win the Champions League altogether – then he would be winning at more than just life.
Taken from the Liverpool echo:
Klopp’s role in keeping his side fresh should not be understated. A stat unearthed by The Times has shown that Liverpool made 135 changes to their starting XI this season, more than any other team in the Premier League.
Many barked at the manager’s plan to use what was at hand and rotate when needed. Sometimes opting to go a game without Salah here, and Mane there, or miss two of the deadly front three somewhere during their campaign.
The German really chose to rotate all over the pitch – his front three, his ever-changing midfield, even to his fullbacks, centre backs, and goalkeepers was shifted most times if the position had two or more players to take charge.
This was frowned upon as ‘nobody will find their rhythm’ by the public and professional eye. Everybody got a chance to sit out and make way for somebody to take his place from the squad – it was that simple for Klopp.
At first the Anfield side suffered dearly and replicated similar problems occurring at the back as previous seasons. Thankfully enough – it didn’t last long and started becoming better with time, as each game wore on.
When it started working in favour of the Reds
Liverpool, plus the rest of the top-five clubs fell out of the title race long before the season hit the halfway mark. After the year turned 2018, the league was all but contested and if you’re not a Man United fan – there will come a time you’ll hear – they mounted a serious challenge. Pfff…
When the EPL was almost decided, Klopp’s side was way off the mark of catching up with rivals, Manchester City. They decided to go after the Champions League instead. It was their only means of silverware and still today, their only means of silverware.
Jurgen Klopp was able to work his squad out perfectly for the matches they needed to win. It paid off and now today they wait nervously, for the European final that could bring them instant glory. This is where I believe Chris Smith has spoken prematurely about Klopp and his rotatory squad.
The Anfield side has seen no silverware but a few finals during Klopp’s time. Pretty football and unlimited, goal-scoring powers become obsolete when producing no silverware. If, or when Liverpool win something, which in this case is the Champions League – then only can this rotation policy be looked at as a revolutionary move by the Liverpool manager.