There have been so many aspects of Jürgen Klopp's introduction to the football world as Liverpool manager that have warmed charred and despondent hearts of loyal Kopites. When you're listening and watching him, a feeling of confidence washes over you. During the international break, stories connected to the club often dry up; there are stories out there, but they're not exactly as rich in comparison to the hustle and bustle of weekly club football.
With the departure of Brendan Rodgers and hiring of a high-profile successor within four days or so, there is a lot to cover. This morning, Liverpool shared the first club interview with the new manager and held a press conference where journalists from England and Germany fielded questions for two figures who looked quite pleased with themselves: Ian Ayre and Jürgen Klopp. The chief executive and new manager—both of whom are on the club's transfer committee—sat beside each other with a calm and confident aura around them, possibly suggesting the belief of a successful working relationship moving forward.
One of the biggest advantages that Liverpool will surely benefit from in the coming months and years with Klopp in charge is his knowledge of the Bundesliga. This is one of the most high-profile managers in world football whose nation is world champions. After Klopp's exploits with Borussia Dortmund, there isn't a football fan in Germany who is unaware of his achievements and status. For talenged young players looking for the next step in their respective development and career, Klopp's attraction will be considerable. Liverpool Football Club will be a delightful icing on a most agreeable cake.
Sometimes when competence or excellence presents itself, there is no need to be forced into accepting it. When this is presented in an individual, people quickly realise how genuine these qualities are. Liverpool's first-ever German manager is no different. He exudes a humble but completely convincing calm confidence in his work, something that will naturally merge with Liverpool's history, identity as a club, and ambitions. When he was asked about control over transfer in the press conference, his answer was as swift and decisive as his appointment.
It’s a crazy discussion. It was not a problem for 10 seconds. I’m not an idiot. It’s enough that I have the first and the last word - in the middle we can discuss. We want to discuss good players on the highest level. I’m not a genius. I need other people to get the perfect information. When we have this we will decide to sign or sell a player.
Just like that, discussion surrounding the thorny issue of the club's approach to player recruitment should subside for the next few months with focus on what Klopp described as "emotional football". The unnecessary schism between other members of the committee and manager held the club back, but the manager should also know what a good player looks like. Looking at the development of players at Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool have a manager who understands and knows the type and quality of player for his own tactical framework. That's why Ian Ayre shared the fans enthusiasm over the arrival of Klopp.
His philosophies and culture, both as a person and a football person, mirror very much with Liverpool Football Club. I think that makes for a great marriage in many ways. Just like any relationship, it was important we felt and he felt there was a real connection— that was extremely evident when we met with him. It was so evident that he had that feeling and love and connection with Liverpool. That'll bode well for the club and also for him in attaching himself and being part of a great club.
The new man has already done what seemed to be nearly impossible by getting grumpy former players such as Mark Lawerenson and Steve Nicol excited at the future. There can be no doubt about who's in charge at Liverpool Football Club. FSG have entrusted directing Liverpool's short-term footballing future and beyond to one man, but the potential benefits from one of the finest leagues in the world with tactical, technical, and mentally excellent players of various nationalities could be for Liverpool to reap more than any other Premier League club.
Of course, progress will take time in a league where Liverpool possess the fifth-highest wage bill and budget. However, finishing fifth far away from fourth is very different to a fifth-placed finish with a side playing well only a handful of points away from third or fourth. While less money explains the type of players rival clubs can attract along with the number of quality players who would choose their grounds instead of Anfield, it does not excuse consistently failing to secure the right players. There are many of them in the Bundesliga who don't even play for Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund. It does not excuse overloading in areas while struggling for even basic depth in others. Klopp wasn't wrong when he stressed that this is a time to restart.
This current generation of German players is among the best the world can offer, and more are coming through. If the Europa League is what Merseyside's finest can offer next season, that should not be a barrier to attracting players who can help the club improve. It should not be overlooked that FSG have provided enough support for Liverpool to do much better than we've seen during their tenure. Combining the fact that the Bundesliga may supply Liverpool with players able to meet the demands of both manager and club with the prospect of unifying and charismatic leadership in the dugout for the first time in a generation, Liverpool fans may struggle to temper expectations in the knowledge that genuine restoration is a possibility.
We have the carpenter but also have the means as well as the knowledge to acquire exceptional tools, some of which are already within Liverpool's ranks.