What do you expect to say when you’re not expecting the worst news of your life? You can’t prepare for these moments, but you must accept it. The day we never wanted to come is here. Jurgen Klopp has announced he is leaving Liverpool Football Club at the end of this season.
Profound shock. Utter disbelief. Absurd coping. I’ve been alternating between those three states all morning (or should I say mourning). You don’t know what to say. You don’t know how to feel. You wake up for another routine Friday and are hit with the unfathomable. How do you move on?
Well, for me, I go to the beginning. I remember who I was and what I felt when Jurgen was hired on October 8th, 2015. So many smarter and more talented people than I will pen many words about the connections between then and now, but I am also just one person with one story. Jurgen came to Liverpool and turned all of us from doubters to believers.
I was in a very difficult time back then. I had some rotten career luck and was in the process of losing my faith. Those two things are very connected, but this isn’t so much a post about my life story as it is a post about how a very silly game of football can give hope. I had no idea some German man from the Black Forest could change my life, our lives, but here we are on January 26th, 2024.
There’s West Brom, there’s Norwich, there’s Dortmund. All within that year. But there’s also Sevilla and Manchester City. Then there’s Arsenal to start the season, but there’s also Spurs away a few months later. Then there’s Gini Wijnaldum scoring a first half stoppage time goal against Middlesbrough to secure our rightful place in Europe. There’s everything in between that moment and Kiev. City. Rome. All hope, everything is alive.
Then. When you think heights cannot get any higher. When you think there’s no possible way things can be good. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool delivers a Champions League title, a World Championship, and ends a 30 year drought with a Premier League title. Madrid. Bobby Firmino in the 99th minute in Qatar. An empty Anfield trophy lift while the world watches from their safe social distance.
Through it all, a head held high as he walks through a storm. A man who never backed down from the immense challenge of delivering us from being doubters to believers. A man that gave us the world and deserves to live out his days on his own terms.
Plenty more to say as the days near an end. But we have trophies to win in the mean time. With heads held high. A golden sky come May.