Over the weekend, Chelsea sacked manager Graham Potter after half a season in charge and Leicester City dismissed Brendan Rodgers after four years. Last week, Tottenham parted ways with Antonio Conte. With those moves, the Premier League is now up to 13 sacked managers in 2022-23.
It’s a new record, one that can’t be comforting for any manager still employed whose club is currently falling short of expectations, but one manager who isn’t considered at risk despite his team’s struggles this season is Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp as he prepares to take on a now Potter-less Chelsea.
“The elephant in the room is probably why am I still sitting here in this crazy world,” Klopp joked. “Last man standing. I think both [Chelsea and Leicester] are not in a spot they expect to be. Both are fantastic managers but still things can go wrong and the decision makers can think something has to change.
“It’s a strange week and [Antonio] Conte was just last week and now these two. The season gets into its decisive part and people are afraid maybe of not reaching targets. Their football managing future is still bright so it’s not a disaster, but some seasons maybe it happens more than others.”
Klopp is the fourth-longest serving manager in the history of the Premier League, having been in charge at Liverpool for more than 2,700 days. Only David Moyes at Everton, Alex Ferguson at Man United, and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal have managed a club for longer since the league rebranded in 1992.
Across the Premier League and the English Football League, Klopp sits clear at number one in the Premier League and at number three amongst all active managers, behind only Accrington Stanley’s John Coleman in League One and Harrogate Town’s Simon Weaver down in League Two.
One presumes Liverpool’s owners have the self-awareness to know that after everything Klopp has achieved with the club, to sack him rather than back him—and give him time—for a rebuild would turn the vast majority of the fanbase strongly against them. More than any other manager, he’s earned trust.
“I’m aware of the fact I’m sitting here because of the past and not because of this season,” he added. “If this would be my first season it would be different. We have smart owners, but I’m here to deliver. I’m not here as a talisman, I’m here to deliver, but I still know I’m here now because of the past few years.
“I’m fully in, there’s no doubt about that, but we now have to sort it out. We cannot just continue playing like we do from time to time, that’s not allowed really, and I’m really disappointed about us. But it happens and now we have to find a way out and that’s what we’re working on.”