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Pep Lijnders Marks Six Years of Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager celebrates six years at the club today.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders during the training session at Melwood, Liverpool.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders during the training session at Melwood, Liverpool.
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

The six years we’ve spent under Jürgen Klopp have seen Liverpool play with a lot of joy and experience a lot of success — not many of us would have expected we’d be here if you asked us for predictions before Klopp was appointed.

Klopp’s assistant, Pep Lijnders, spoke to Liverpoolfc.com to mark the occasion, and his headline assertion is something we can all agree with:

“He gave Liverpool an identity again.”

Under Klopp, the club has played brilliant, attacking football, and very quickly after the German’s appointment Liverpool stopped losing the squad’s best players — allowing for a sustained period of stability in personnel, to which the boss added excellent new signings.

The identity Klopp has brought to Liverpool, who were in 10th when he came to the club, is backed with new silverware: namely, a European Cup, a League Title, the first Club World Cup.

Lijnders put it best: “Everyone saw what he has done with the team, with the fans and with the structure of the club. The prizes were a result of this continuity and stability. He gave Liverpool an identity again.”

Lijnders also spoke about why Klopp is such an effective leader:

He knows what he wants. That’s always the most important [thing]. He gives trust and confidence to the ones he works with. He gives everyone the feeling they are part of something bigger and everyone inside has this importance in the same common goal – if it’s players, if it’s staff.

...Authentic people never have to change. And if you want to describe Jürgen, I would say authentic is the right word. He didn’t change my passion, he didn’t change my beliefs, he changed my personality and my view on life and football.

He’s also clear that Liverpool’s current levels are perhaps above expectation:

The club has so much potential; to fulfill this you need to go back to the holy trinity of the past. Manager, fans and squad with just one belief. When this happens, the football world conspires in favor of Liverpool Football Club.

When a club is fighting for 30 years to win the Premier League, when a club never won the FIFA Club World Cup before, when a club gets 97 points and wins the Champions League that season, it’s clear it exceeded our expectations.

Lijnders ends his interview with a statement on the importance of Jürgen Klopp to Liverpool Football Club:

For me, Jürgen is like what Johan [Cruyff] was for Barcelona, he is creating something that goes beyond years. Long may it continue. But years in football isn’t important for us coaches and players; it’s about the next game, the next session, the next final. It’s about today.

This is a hungry LFC team, confident and knows what it wants. Jürgen leads and corrects. It’s a beautiful time to be a Liverpool supporter. Cherish it. Make it loud.

Too right.