It is quite hard to imagine the birth of a tactical genius. He appears the heck out of nowhere, and becomes famous for a fantastic style and vision for the game. But, was he ever a kid? Did he play football? Was he born in a tracksuit with a beard, a yellow cap and a pair of glasses? It’s hard to know where a certain Jurgen Klopp comes from.
But then you look at this Wiki article, look through some ‘editorials’ on his past and you go, ‘AH! NOW I know the man who brought unprecedented success to a small football club known only as Borussia Dortmund.’ Most at home, animated, screaming orders on the touchline at the Westfalenstadion and with a wall of supporters singing his praise as his charges go onwards – that is how you see the true Jurgen Klopp.
No one may know his origins, or what he did before this – not many know where he’s off to either. Having announced that he will leave his post and confirmed he’s not ‘doing a Guardiola’, he has Europe in a tizzy. But why? What does this charming, none-too-polished gem bring to a top side? Why have stellar names such as Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Paris St.Germain been mentioned in the same breath as Kloppo?
It’s quite simple really. Take a club that have never managed to be properly financially sustained – at one point so down in the doldrums that they loaned money from Bayern Munchen themselves, and turn them in a short amount of time from Bundesliga also-rans to beating the team that gave them money in the first place to that title. That’s why he’s wanted. That’s why Manuel Pellegrini, Pippo Inzaghi, and too many to name have, as a certain ‘LVG’ said – sweaty bottoms. Here are some hard facts for those of you who had a doozy reading this – 2 German League titles, 1 DFB Pokal, 2 German Supercup triumphs and a tight match decided by Arjen Robben away from a Champions League title – again, against Bayern Munich.
Do you see a trend here? Bayern Munich. The Bavarians keep rearing their greedy heads – considering Klopp a threat so great that they’ve picked players from his side for their own, whether required or otherwise. And this stems from Klopp’s ability to take players who come from a youth system – or are picked out by Dortmund’s scouting system in which he likes to get hands on. Here’s a man, beard tracksuit and all – shouting his soul out and pushing his charges to give it their all. He’s seen a sparkle in their eye, an affinity and ability to see winners where others see teenage prodigies. The faith he received in his seven years at the Westfalenstadion with that yellow wall behind him made him what he is today. Which brings us to a point of worry.
Can he replicate that? Can he take millions of oil money, and nitpick the best talent from other squads and create a team that doesn’t do the underdog but wants to dominate. Is he capable of taking a team forward in a combination of youth and big-money signings? Can Jurgen Klopp arrive in a high-pressure environment and deliver from the first kick of the ball? Can he face the barbs of Mourinho, the guile of Ancelotti or Enrique or the sheer mirror-image passion of Diego Simeone?
If given the chance he will. Jurgen Klopp has the ingredients to be a success. He has time on his side at only 47 years of age and he can become the greatest manager ever still. A young man, coming through the ranks – he needs an environment that is conducive to change at a pace that matches that of his pressing play – a place that can defend and shield him from incessant attacking by media, fans and scrutiny. Give Kloppo the full backing of the players and the board of directors and he will be a force to be reckoned with. There’s only one way for him to head – and that’s to the top of Klopp Heap!