Liverpool boss has been feisty as of late. Perhaps it’s his new contract. Perhaps it is the anticipation of unwrapping his new Takumi Minamino Christmas present. Perhaps it’s the fact that Liverpool are in the last 16 of the Champions League, and will once again be top of the pile in Christmas.
Whatever the reason, he seems like a man on the mission this season. In order to do what we all want him to do, Klopp will have to complete a near-perfect season. Of course, perfection in life, as in football, is a myth, and in his match program notes, he explained as much.
“We all know at some point this season we will have a setback,” Kloppo wrote in his message to the fans. “We don’t think it will be nine months of sunlight and warmth. Clouds will come and in those moments we will need to be ready to react.
“We have seen it already in games this season. We do not sail always on calm waters, despite our results. We have taken some big punches and kept moving forward. If at any point we are knocked to the canvas, I know we will get back on our feet well before the 10 count is done – and I also know we will be ready to come out swinging. This is us. This is what we do.
“This season, like all at this level, is a fight. It is not a party. It is intense. It is constant. It is a challenge. It is work. It is work we love and work that fulfills us.”
Unlike many top managers, it is Klopp’s disappointments that have defined his career nearly as much as his successes. In his first two attempts at promotion with Mainz, he missed out by 1 point and then by 1 goal, before finally earning promotion in his third go. The same could be said with his first two failures to win the European Cup, only to prevail at the third time of asking.
In all of these cases, Klopp was able to show his true class as a manager, by using those disappointments to fuel belief and desire in his squads to dust themselves off and go again.
By preparing his squad for the worst, and building in persistence and the ability to bounce back—both within games, and within seasons—he is somehow creating a squad that might not need to. Mentality giants is right.
The fans, of course, will play their part. But we get to actually have a party while the team is fighting week in and week out. Boss deal if you ask me.