Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
So Liverpool are champions again at last. It’s been a long wait for Reds fans.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were confirmed as Premier League title winners on Thursday evening, after Manchester City lost to Chelsea.
The Reds’ imperious display against Crystal Palace, whom they beat 4-0 at Anfield on Wednesday evening, proved to be a fitting way to secure the points they needed.
A tearful Klopp appeared in the media to say how much the title meant to him, and he was also seen dancing in celebration with his players.
Those tears not only showed how much the title means to the coach, but are also a mark of the warmth and joy with which Klopp approaches his work.
Germans may have a reputation for being a rational, somewhat unemotional nation, whose lack of a sense of humour is a recurring theme of jokes in Britain, but Klopp bucks that stereotype.
The man’s passion, eloquence and humour, as well as his considerable empathy for supporters, has helped to mark him out as an Anfield great.
And yet despite that emotion and empathy, despite the clear closeness of the relationship with his players, there is never any doubt about who is in charge. Klopp does not come across as a man to trifle with.
He is the best kind of leader – a man his players would follow willingly without compulsion because they trust him.
He will now join the ranks of Reds managerial legends like Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagin and Kenny Dalglish, who all brought the league title to Anfield.
Nothing showed the measure of the man more than his emotional interview with Sky Sports, in which he was wearing a Liverpool shirt.
“It’s the best thing I can imagine and more than I could have ever dreamed of,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable. Much more than I ever thought would be possible.
“It is an incredible achievement from my players, and a pure joy for me to coach them.”
It looks like Klopp has brought the glory days back to Anfield. The Reds have now won the Premier League title, Champions League, Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup within just 13 months – an extraordinary run of success.
The German arrived at Anfield in October 2015 after Brendan Rodgers left, and has worked diligently since then to improve the club’s fortunes.
“I felt from day one when he came in the door he changed everything,” said Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
The Reds have been dominant in 2019/20, winning 28 of their 31 Premier League games so far.
They knew they would have to do something special to claim the title, having been pipped to the crown last season by Manchester City, despite claiming 97 points, the third highest tally in the history of the Premier League.
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish has pinpointed the great team spirit that Klopp has instilled in the players as a primary reason for the Reds’ success.
Of course, it’s traditional for a Scot to be in the team when Liverpool win the title, and Andy Robertson at left-back in many ways is another Klopp success story.
Under Klopp’s tutelage Robertson has matured into possibly the finest Scottish player of his generation, and is now captain of his country’s national side.
Five wins in their remaining seven games will see the Reds claim over 100 Premier League points and beat Manchester City’s record tally.
In this strangest of seasons, it has been a German who has brought a touch of the magical back to English football.