Klopp, Tuchel, and Bill Shankly

The hype and comparisons surrounding the coming LFC-BVB match has included parallels being drawn between the clubs' two managers, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, respectively. The most interesting line I have heard so far about the match-up is the master meeting the apprentice. Tuchel versus the man who built the team he has been so successful with.

There's a bit of a similarity between the two Borussia Dortmund bosses and two Liverpool managers from the glory days of yore.

That's right, folks. I proposing that Klopp is Dortmund's Bill Shankly and that Tuchel could very well become their Bob Paisley.

I'll start by saying that this comparison, of course, is highly dependent on just how much this current Dortmund squad can achieve under Tuchel. This is by no means a definitive comparison.

But back to Jurgen. Both he and Shankly turned rather mediocre sides into clubs that were ready to take on the world. Even their trophy cases are similar:


Bundesliga: 2010–11, 2011–12

DFB-Pokal: 2011–12

DFL-Supercup: 2013, 2014

Shankly (Second Division title not included, as Klopp didn't have to bring Dortmund through promotion):

Football League First Division: 1963–64, 1965–66, 1972–73

FA Cup: 1964–65, 1973–74

FA Charity Shield: 1964, 1965, 1966

UEFA Cup: 1972–73

While trophies don't tell the whole tale, both managers reinvigorated their respective clubs and turned them into sides that, on their day, could and would beat anyone. Should Tuchel take the foundation left by Klopp and continue to improve it, he could very well be rewarded with a sizable trophy haul. Perhaps not exactly on the scale of Bob Paisly when he inherited Shankly's team, but a large trophy cabinet nonetheless.

There are, of course, crucial differences between Shankly and Klopp. Liverpool pre-Shankly was in the Second Division and struggling for stability. Dortmund, on the other hand, had a glorious run in the 1990s and had the resources to compete for top honors again relatively quickly. They faced more of a downturn prior to Klopp as opposed to misery and practical irrelevance. Shankly brought Liverpool to life, while Klopp was more of a defibrillator for Dortmund. His work was by no means on the same scale as Shankly's.

Yet the parallels are there regardless, and it's ultimately in Tuchel's hands to make Klopp be seen as the founder of a long-lasting golden age for BVB in the eyes of posterity. But even if it doesn't happen, he will surely be remembered by the Dortmund faithful anyway.

PS: I really want to start writing more fan posts to improve my own writing. I'm a college student, so I want to do this as both a writing exercise and to get a bit of practice in digital media, because it's a field I find both interesting and growing in importance. That being said, feedback is appreciated, and constructive criticism welcomed. Thanks, all. YNWA

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