Football

Oliver Kirch explains how Jurgen Klopp saved Borussia Dortmund's season

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Jurgen Klopp has made a big impression on both the Liverpool players and the fans since his arrival last month. His larger-than-life personality has infected everyone at Anfield with a new-found optimism and the results are already starting to improve.

But rewind 12 months and the German coach was facing the toughest task of his blossoming managerial career. His Borussia Dortmund side looked like prime relegation candidates and as the Christmas break arrived on December 20, they were sitting in the bottom two.

Dortmund had lost ten of their opening 17 Bundesliga matches and were travelling back from their latest defeat, a 2-1 reverse against Werder Bremen, when Klopp wrote the message that would eventually turn their form around.

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According to Paderborn midfielder Oliver Kirch, who was a Dortmund first-team star last season, the players were at an all-time low on the journey home and were surprised when their phones lit up with a message from the boss.

The message read:

'Don’t think for a second this is optional. Everyone comes, no exceptions'.

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The turnaround

Most fans would assume it was some sort of crisis meeting or perhaps a double training session, but, no, it was referring to the club Christmas party.

"You couldn’t have called it a party. It felt more like a funeral, to be honest," Kirch wrote in his book 'Reading The Game - the turning point of last season'. according to the Mail.

Positive attitude

But regardless of the mood amongst the players, Klopp was his usual smiling self and it was that attitude that lifted the dark cloud hanging over Signal Iduna Park.

Kirch said: "Kloppo was super positive about everything. I’d never seen him like that before. He laughed a lot. Loudly.

"He had already tried everything. So he started building us up. He worked on our self-confidence. He asked us to visualise what we had already achieved. A weight had been lifted."

Full credit to Klopp

When the Bundesliga resumed, Borussia Dortmund would rediscover their best form and move from 17th place to seventh, qualifying for the Europa League in the process. It was that turnaround in form that may have also sealed him the chance to succeed Brendan Rodgers.

"I have to give him full credit for it," Kirch finished. "Springtime in Dortmund began that week - the very week after we hit rock bottom."

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Topics:
Liverpool
Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Football
Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga

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