Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp: Nutty Professor or Tactical Genius?

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Jurgen Klopp. The tracksuit wearing, baseball cap loving gaffer of Liverpool.

Famed for his whacky quotes, (he once said before a meeting with Arsene Wenger: "He likes having the ball, playing football, passes, like an orchestra, but it's a silent song, I much prefer heavy metal") and very positive attitude, the flamboyant German is setting his sights firmly on lifting the fallen giants back to the top of English football.

But who is he? Where has he come from? Germany obviously!


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After spending his entire career playing for lowly Mainz 05 in the German second division, Klopp was eventually offered the manager's job on retirement and spent seven years in charge, where he lifted the club into the Bundesliga for the first time in the club's history.

In their maiden season, Klopp guided the team to a UEFA Cup position in the league. Relegation followed the year with the team in financial difficulty, which led to his resignation in May 2008.

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Step forward Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund had finished the previous season in a dismal 13th position in the Bundesliga. Financial restrictions had meant that the squad Klopp inherited would be mainly made up of youth. Upon arrival, Klopp released a statement to the fans asking for patience. "Please be patient with what we are trying to achieve. We will win and lose together. Just stick with us."

In his first season, Dortmund finished sixth and won the Super Cup, the German equivalent of the Community Shield, beating Bayern Munich. Again the manager pleaded for patience from the fans as he looked to mould his young squad into a team which fits his requirements. 

His famed "gegenpressing" philosophy being drilled into the players on a weekly basis. A high intensive hunt in packs style of play, winning the ball back as quickly as possible and then springing into a dangerous attack, catching the opposition out of position.

His second season yielded a fifth place finish before the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons saw all his hard work come to fruition. Back to back Bundesliga titles saw Dortmund knock the mighty Bayern Munich off their perch. 

Arsenal FC v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

The following season, Dortmund reached the Champions League final where they were beaten by their rivals Munich, who had also pipped them to the league title. When talking about their fierce rivals, Klopp said: "We have a bow and arrow and if we aim well then we can hit something. The problem is that Bayern have a bazooka."

Player Sales and Dortmund Demise

With Dortmund still not being able to compete financially, their top players were sold on to keep the club on an even keel. Shinji Kagawa, twice Bundesliga Player of the Year, was sold to Manchester United (though he would return just two seasons later). Robert Lewandowski left to join Bayern on a free, while prize asset Mario Gotze, also left for the German giants. 

A season of injuries and loss of form saw Dortmund bottom of the league going into the winter break last season. Klopp shouldered the blame and said perhaps the team has just stopped listening. He then gave his resignation, before lifting them from bottom to a 7th place Europa League finish.

His football sabbatical lasted merely a few months with the lure of the Anfield hot seat too much to turn down. 

It will be interesting to see if he is backed in the summer with the big TV money coming into play. Christian Benteke looks to be one of the first out the door. Who else follows? We shall wait and see. 

Will Jurgen Klopp be a success at Liverpool? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!

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