Jurgen Klopp will need to turn his miserable record in finals around if he is to be a success at Liverpool.
The German has lost his past five finals, including two last season. There is great belief that Klopp will become one of the most popular managers in Liverpool’s history but he’ll be quickly forgotten if the Reds continue to finish runner-up.
Despite those defeats to Manchester City and Sevilla, that Liverpool reached two finals in Klopp’s first season has paved the way for a sense of great optimism. A full pre-season and the Reds could be primed to add more silverware in the coming seasons.
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Their last success came in 2012. Klopp, meanwhile, is suffering from what is quickly becoming a worrying trend in finals.
Prior to last season’s final defeats, the former Borussia Dortmund boss was a runner-up in the 2012-13 Champions League and German Cup in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
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Klopp’s record doesn’t leave the same bitter taste that Lionel Messi’s international record does. He did, after all, win the Bundesliga twice and the DFB-Pokal.
But his trophy cabinet would look more impressive had his team’s been able to complete the job.
The 49-year-old is attempting to build a team that can challenge the Premier League’s top four, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip among the summer signings and Georginio Wijnaldum set to join them.
He has spent the pre-season ingraining his ‘Gegenpressing’ system into his players, with largely successful results. Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield on Wednesday was their fourth win of the summer and they are yet to concede a goal.
The Reds lifted the Bill Shankly Trophy - a mini-cup created to commemorate the iconic manager who enjoyed successful reigns at both clubs - after beating their Championship opponents and Klopp couldn’t help joking that he had finally managed to end his curse.
“First trophy,” the Liverpool manager gleefully exclaims. “We lost our last 520 finals… well, I lost my last finals. So today, Yes!”
Sorry, Jurgen. You can’t add that to the record books.
How will Liverpool match up with the big boys
It’ll be interesting to see how Liverpool match up to the Premier League’s two strongest teams - Manchester United, resurged after the arrivals of Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Klopp has made a career out of achieving success in unfavourable positions and that’s exactly what will be asked of him next season.