Manager Profile - Jurgen Klopp

Klopp For The Kop

Personal information
Full name: Jurgen Norbert Klopp
Date of birth: 16 June 1967 
Age: 48
Place of birth: Stuttgart, West Germany
Height: 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 
Playing position: Striker/Defender

Club information
Current team: Liverpool (manager)

Youth career
1975–1983: SV Glatten
1983–1989: TuS Ergenzingen

Senior career
1989–2001: Mainz 05 337 Appearances, 52 goals

Teams managed
2001–2008: Mainz 05
2008–2015: Borussia Dortmund
2015– Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp was confirmed as the new manager of Liverpool FC last week Thursday, signing a three-year deal with the Merseyside giants. The German takes over the position from Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Everton prior to the international break. The 48-year-old rose to fame as manager of Borussia Dortmund, guiding Die Schwarzgelben to the summit of the Bundesliga after one of the darkest periods in the club's history.  

Klopp earned his coaching stripes at Mainz, the German club he spent his entire 12-year playing career at. He became their manager when he hung up his boots in 2001, guiding them to promotion to and relegation from the Bundesliga. He could have been Hamburg’s coach, but they pulled the pin on a deal, turned off by his holey jeans attire, badly shaved face and flippancy. Their loss was to be Borussia Dortmund’s gain, with the Ruhr club appointing Klopp in 2008. He would oversee seven seasons in charge at the Westfalenstadion and it was under his tutelage that Dortmund would transform into a superpower of European football. Dortmund finished 13th the season before Klopp arrived, but he instantly improved that, guiding them to sixth and fifth in the next two seasons, also winning the German Supercup in 2008. But it was about to get a whole lot better. 2010-11 saw Dortmund claim the Bundesliga title and they defended that crown a season later, also adding the DFB-Pokal to secure a memorable double. The 81 points secured, set a league record, as did a run of 28 consecutive matches unbeaten. Supercup wins followed in 2013 and 2014, while Dortmund went agonisingly close to winning the Champions League in 2012-13, beaten in the final by arch rivals Bayern Munich. He left Dortmund at the end of the 2014-15 season, a miserable campaign that saw the club miss out on Champions League qualification after an appalling start. He left the club with a record that reads: 179 wins, 69 draws, 70 losses. Klopp took his time deciding on his next destination, before ultimately picking Anfield.  

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The Liverpool owners had Klopp at the top of their list, and it looks to be the perfect fit. Patience will be key for the Liverpool faithful. While Klopp is one of the most respected managers in all of football, he didn't guide Dortmund to the Champions League until the 2010-11 season, having taken the job in 2008. Similar to the situation he stepped into back then, the Reds are a team in need of some renewed direction. While there's some excellent young talent in the squad, there are a number of holes to fill—particularly in defence—and Liverpool don't have the quality to compete with the Premier League's elite clubs right now. The Reds' American owners have acted decisively to sack Rodgers as they believe Klopp could potentially propel Liverpool towards a title charge. Where Rodgers preached a possession-based style of football, Klopp is happy to sacrifice the ball. His 4-2-3-1 Dortmund team was built to press high up the pitch, hounding opponents into making mistakes, then hitting then on the break before they’ve had time to recover. The keys to this were two things, pace and conditioning. Do Liverpool possess it? Time will tell. Klopp has proved himself a master of galvanising teams, and history suggests he'll balance out the squad before long and field a competitive team by the 2016-17 season. He may even convince some of his former Dortmund players to join him at Anfield, which would give the Reds a huge lead in the race for the likes of Mats Hummels, Marco Reus or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 

This is undoubtedly a great day for Liverpool, a club whose preservation of traditions and pageantry seem a perfect fit for the German's emotive management style. Klopp will get the fanbase dreaming once again and certainly possesses the requisite qualities required to guide the Reds back to the top of English football. Given the time, the German has all the tools to end Liverpool's title drought and ensure it's "Klopp's Kop" rather than "Klopp's Flop".