Liverpool edged Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on Thursday night to retain their 16-point lead over closest rival Manchester City in the Premier League. Skipper Jordan Henderson lead the Red troop by heading in a delicious Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery, before Bobby Firmino scored in the 83rd minute to cancel out Raul Jimenez’s second-half equaliser. That victory made it staggering 22 wins out of 23 games, and they sit afar on the English top-flight table this season.
To shore up their chances, Jurgen Klopp’s side have played a game less than the Citizens and Foxes, and are due to take on West Ham United at Anfield. The tie got postponed owing to Liverpool’s Club World Cup duties in Qatar, where they didn’t disappoint and triumphed through two Bobby Firmino’s strikes against Monterrey and Flamengo in pretty humid conditions. Being crowned as World Champions is momentous, but the players and staffs were conscious about the bigger one named the Premier League. Liverpool’s Champions League trophy parade eclipsed the city’s population and they are aware of the idyllic scenario should they coast through rest of the games to being labelled as the English Champions.
Their victory against the Red Devils on January 19 handed a galloping option for the media to fabricate tons of stories that the trophy has already headed to Merseyside, but the former Borussia Dortmund boss was not prepared to buy those books – and vowed to concentrate on the next hurdle against Wolves.
“Nothing has changed, we have the same situation with three extra points. We play Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday, it’s an exceptional challenge. I don’t have space in my brain to contemplate anything else.” said the German, who asserted that the Anfield faithful would change from doubters to believers after taking over the club in October 2015.
Dating back to the day before Jurgen Klopp signed for the Reds, the Anfield faithful somehow managed to hook an audio clip of the German imparting that he would be ’24/7 Liverpool man from tomorrow.’
The red side of Liverpool were aware of Klopp’s famous chest fists which had driven the yellow wall and Opel Arena crazy. Before putting pen to paper, the leaked call the night before intrigued many supporters. More than 15,000 supporters tracked Jurgen Klopp’s private jet to Liverpool because he was seen as last array of hope to revive the European powerhouse in them after a decade of disappointments under Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, and Brendan Rodgers.
Majority of the fanbase saw his lone success of Borussia Dortmund, which went on to clinch back-to-back Bundesliga titles. They saw him as a nice taste, bound to be added to an ordinary dish. Those set of fans were confident that he’d bring back the glory days to the fields of Anfield road. Another bunch contemplated there would be no buyers for the ordinary dish and were not entirely assertive because of the malfunctioning between the owners and the previous manager.
An engaging debut press conference saw the German International proclaim himself as the ‘Normal One’. Even though he was vocal about the amount of time needed to rebuild the club, his self-proclaimed tag stole the headlines. He also joked that he’d find a new Switzerland club if he failed to win a title in four years: “If we sit here in four years I think we’ll have won a title – I’m pretty sure. If not, the next one may be in Switzerland.”
Entschlossener Mann, which translates to determined man in German, was Jurgen Norbert Klopp. His oath to win a trophy before the mentioned timescale could have turned out to be a miscarriage, but later handed a humiliation to Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona had a healthy 3-0 lead after the Champions League Semifinals first leg. It looked a formality for the Blaugrana in the second leg, especially with the hosts missing out on two world-class forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to injuries.
But, Anfield crowd produced an aura of mystery to drive their side to the final of the European elite competition and successfully deceive some of the world’s most experienced players.
Trent Alexander Arnold, Divock Origi, Gini Wijnaldum, and Alisson Becker are viewed as the match-winners, but the impossible mission carried out on a high magnitude game would be just a decorum without the Liverpool manager. That’s Jurgen Klopp & his ability to stimulate the players and fans.
When queried about the historic Anfield night, Jurgen Klopp divulged his pep talk the night before.
‘I said the boys, “Just because its you, we have a chance tomorrow”.’
Only very few in this world can be as good as the former Mainz manager in the motivational department.
‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’
The current Liverpool side bodes well with Tim Notke’s famous book. It would be blunt to indicate that players are just hard workers. Taking Jordan Henderson for example. The midfielder works his socks off and possesses the intelligence to demonstrate his strengths and negate his negatives. But, he is not technically gifted as Kevin De Bruyne.
There are many talented players outside of the current Liverpool side, but how often do they showcase their amalgamated qualities as a single unit. Jurgen Klopp’s side were up against a technical gifted Bayern Munich side, but blew their opponents away with the full-strength squad in Munich. Pulsating victories over Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Manchester City, Villarreal, and Norwich proved their persona, which is to fight for the badge, teammates, manager, staffs, and the supporters.
Unrivalled character, resilience, and canniness of every squad player are worthy of admiration. These three idiosyncrasies connote Liverpool as a club, and the city, which treasures people who produce a great deal of endurance regardless of the result.
In a notorious interview after the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the current Reds boss Jurgen Klopp opened out about the demand among other clubs for special ‘heart and soul’ of Liverpool.
He said: “I have been here long enough now to know the history of Liverpool, key players have left before – but the club always goes on. You cannot transfer the heart and soul of Liverpool Football Club, although I am sure there are many clubs who would like to buy it.”
The sanction of that transfer faced severe criticism from the neutrals and cast doubts amongst the Anfield faithful over the lack of ambition after acquiring Virgil Van Dijk for the then record deal for a defender. Names such as Riyad Mahrez were thrown into the mix, but the German opted to stick with the best lot, which wanted the heart and soul of Liverpool to develop further.
A huge slump was anticipated following the departure of their best player in January 2018. But, their maturity levels raised – so did their performance levels. They walked past Porto, Manchester City, and Roma as if it was nothing to set up a penultimate clash with Real Madrid. A couple of blunders from the goalkeeper Loris Karius forced Klopp to settle for the third silver medal on a trot donning the red after losing the Europa League and League Cup final two seasons earlier.
Even though the German might suggest otherwise, his Borussia Dortmund team was never the same following the Champions League loss to Bayern Munich in 2013. The likes of Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze sought out their futures by ditching the runners-up to sign for their rivals.The German outfit were mentally drenched after the Wembley final. Many cogitated that the defeat to the leading Champions League holders would mean the end of the road for Jurgen Klopp’s recent club. But, the tale has got to change at one point or another, shouldn’t it?
Acquisition of Fabinho, Alisson Becker, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Naby Keïta made them genuine title contenders. The Anfield faithful saw the new signings as the potential jigsaw to bring down the curtains of their long league drought. But, they weren’t going to have it easy because Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City amassed 100 Premier League points the previous season. That was the first time in the history of the competition.
The exodus from the domestic cup competitions didn’t hurt them too much as they qualified for the Champions League knockouts and led the Premier League table during February.
The attacking impetus and defensive resilience were present, but it was a hard-fought defeat at the end. Manchester City bagged back-to-back Premier League titles after inching Liverpool by a solidary point.
Three weeks after falling short of the English top-flight triumph, Klopp used the second-place finish as a motivational factor and drove his side to Champions League glory.
Jordan Henderson, who faced severe flak over the years and was adjudged unfit to wear the Liverbird on the chest, became the first captain to lift it after the evergreen Steven Gerrard.
In the post-match interview, the German manager was quoted saying, “Jordan Henderson is captain of the Champions League winner 2019 – that’s satisfying.”
A hero’s welcome was delivered upon the open bus parade, but fans were critical over the lack of investment on the good-looking squad in the summer transfer window. Manchester City, the back-to-back Premier League Champions, were adjugated to show ambition as they wrapped up the signings of Rodri, Angelinho, and Joao Cancelo. Thus, they were also tipped for the third straight Premier League title.
Five months into the season, Liverpool have lifted the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. They now lead the Premier League table by a huge margin, and look highly likely to end their 30-year league title drought this season.
Jurgen Klopp, during his managerial stint at Borussia Dortmund, once mentioned that Bayern Munich had a bazooka. Despite that equipment, he was also proud that robin hood was quite successful.
He said: “We have a bow and arrow and if we aim well, we can hit the target. The problem is that Bayern Munich has a bazooka. The probability that they will hit the target is more. But then the robin hood was apparently quite successful.”
There is quite a variance between the spendings of Liverpool and Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea since Jurgen Klopp moved to England. Despite the major hurdle, it is Liverpool, who currently own the bazooka.