So here's my rep, to those that slept
And didn't get the first concept in depth
I am the manifestation of study
NOT, the manifestation of money
Therefore I advance through thought
Not what's manufactured and bought
Concentration, and calculation
Goes into every song creation
KRS-One/Boogie Down Productions - "Original"
For the Premier League, this age of financial excess at its zenith could be the best of times as well as the worst of times. Chelsea have announced the appointment of Antonio Conte as head coach after he completes his stint in international football with Italy at Euro 2016. Conte's exploits in charge of Juventus will add to a carousel shaped by hyperbole and primal excitement.
Pep Guardiola is on his way, Claudio Ranieri is close to completing the unthinkable, José Mourinho is waiting and lurking, Arsène Wenger is almost certain to stick around, Mauricio Pochettino is building a reputation akin to the Wu, Slaven Bilić is channelling the aura of Pearl Jam, and not many possess the pedigree of Rafa Benítez. The Premier League has two undeniably attractive elements: the managers and the money. Therefore, breaking through among a band of bold brothers may require a slightly different formula.
From contemplating inevitable defeat and enduring necessary development to banishing any shred of doubt in the man in charge, this column has been fascinated with the narrative and significance of Jürgen Klopp. He represents what KRS-One advocates in his lyrics and faces an undeniable testimony to the significance of his work this week. Borussia Dortmund might just be the most compelling representation of "concentration and calculation" in European football. Thomas Tuchel -- a fine and fiercely competitive manager at only 42 years of age -- deserves credit for guiding Klopp's former side back to being one of the most exciting sides around.
The squad under Tuchel is mostly Klopp's, but last season illustrated that the 48-year-old struggled to inspire and tactically prepare his players as he had done for six years. Just as Mainz 05 needed Tuchel after Jörn Andersen proved to be an inadequate successor to Klopp, Borussia Dortmund required Tuchel's intense style of play and particular brand of leadership. Dortmund might play with the ball more under Tuchel than Klopp but they still excite and remain high-profile European underdogs.
The figure in the dugout has changed, but the transfer game remains the same. Last summer's missteps have been replaced by a familiar strategy. Nuri Şahin could leave for Real Madrid as İlkay Gündoğan would prove to be just as composed in midfield. Now Gündoğan is certain to leave this summer, but an adequate replacement exists in one of the steals of the season in Julian Weigl. €2.5 million for a future midfield superstar. €3.5 million brings Roman Bürki in to replace goalkeeping stalwart Roman Weidenfeller as first-choice. €6 million shouldn't go so far in modern football, but it did for one club last summer.
For all the talk of a return of a prodigal son, it was the fee received for Mario Götze that funded moves for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan -- players who have shone this season. Even with the missteps made in Klopp's final summer transfer window at Dortmund, this squad and even the hiring of Tuchel testifies to Klopp's legacy. This is the promise that Liverpool's first German manager brings to Anfield. It is beyond the days, games, victories, and seasons that will make up his tenure at Merseyside's finest, perhaps going further than any trophies won too.
Imagine a 55-year-old Klopp talking about the love he holds for the only English club he'll ever manage. Whether he is still at the club at the time is immaterial, because it is in the right hands. Ownership will play a role in ensuring that Liverpool remains more than manifestation of money, but the power of Jürgen Klopp can compel them to look for another who is the manifestation of study. It's the way of Klopp, it's the way of KRS-One, and it's what Liverpool face next. It's both formidable and seductive, and in this Premier League era, it just might be successful.