Liverpool is buzzing with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, who did great things at Borussia Dortmund with limited resources.
The challenge for Klopp is that in Germany he was only competing with Bayern Munich, where in England he will face four or five teams that have the same financial resources of the German champions. So can Klopp repeat his success in Germany and give Liverpool’s its first Premier League title?
For all the glom and doom surrounding the Brendan Rodgers era at Anfield, when Klopp leads Liverpool out at White Hart Lane against Spurs on October 17, Liverpool will be just three points off a Champions League place. Klopp’s mere charisma and the excitement he infuses should be worth points even before his coaching kicks in.
Liverpool couldn’t really have appointed a manager more different from Rodger. Whose footballing philosophies are very different.
If you compare Rodgers’ three full seasons at Liverpool and Klopp’s best four years at Dortmund, those differences are only emphasized. It is possession against aggression. The effects of Klopp’s gegenpressing can be seen, as his side tackle much more (19.1 to 12.5), foul more (14.3 to 10.5) and intercept more (19.1 to 12.5).
While Rodgers believes in passing teams to death, Klopp believes in high pressure and counter-attacking. Klopp’s sides average 8 goals from counter-attacks per season, compared to Rodgers’s four, and the latter is greatly inflated by that 2013-14 campaign.
Which begs the question. Can Klopp get the best out of a Liverpool squad that was built for a completely different brand of football?
That question will be answered in the coming weeks and months as Klopp and Liverpool adjust to each other. But for the first time in a long time their is genuine excitement on Merseyside about that the future holds for Liverpool FC.