By Sam Noel | The Duquesne Duke
If you don’t know much about Liverpool Football Club, here’s a short history lesson:
The Reds of Merseyside are the second winningest English club in history with 19 top-division titles. However, it’s been 26 years since their last top-flight title, and they have yet to accomplish a Premier League triumph since its inception in 1992.
In the past decade, Liverpool has tried, but fallen short of reaching this accolade – most recently in the 2013-14 season, when their scintillating attack led them to a second-place finish, even on points with then-champions, Manchester City, but having a lower goal differential.
Their manager that season, Brendan Rodgers, was let go from his position this year in October, because despite their best title challenge in years in 2014, Rodgers did not bring a major trophy to the club during his tenure.
Jürgen Klopp replaced Rodgers four days later. If you are not familiar with this man, you will be in due time.
Klopp’s last gig was at German giants Borussia Dortmund, where his lightning-fast offensive style brought two Bundesliga titles and three domestic trophies. They were also the runners-up of the ’12-’13 UEFA Champions League.
Klopp managed to achieve all of this while dwelling in the shadow of German super giants, Bayern Munich, who easily boasted the best talent and most money. His success during his tenure at Borussia Dortmund was the biggest factor in Liverpool’s consideration of Klopp.
But the decision was made (most likely an easy one, at that) to hire Jürgen Klopp as the next manager of this storied club.
The only question is can he end this title drought and deliver Liverpool its first Premier League title?
For starters, you can eliminate that possibility this season. Liverpool is well back in the table, sitting in ninth place with 31 points, 13 behind the leaders – Arsenal. The title race this season will most likely exclude the Reds.
But looking into future seasons, you have to take a look at where other teams are going to be. Arsenal has a young club whose attack is headed by a sharp duo in their prime, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil. However their renowned manager, Arsené Wenger, 66, isn’t getting any younger. Within the next few years Wenger will most likely retire, and that will be a tough transition period for the Gunners, much like how it is for Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
Manchester City is rumored to be bringing in Pep Guardiola this offseason, one of Europe’s youngest and most successful managers. Guardiola had recently managed FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively, winning domestic titles and Champions League titles at both. If Man-City does in fact manage to sign him up, he’ll certainly cause trouble for the likes of Liverpool. Along with their large amount of wealth and current outstanding players like Sergio Agüero, Guardiola would no doubt strike fear into opposing managers.
Even though they’re in a period of transition, Manchester United and Chelsea will no doubt be threats to Klopp’s success in the coming years. Both clubs have money and power, and will not be disappearing any time soon.
Klopp has had plenty of success, but his Liverpool tenure will arguably be his most challenging. His squad this year has shown signs of improvement, with shades of his Borussia Dortmund teams showing in the Reds. He’s an advocate of “heavy metal” offense, which is fast, and constantly pressuring the opposition’s goal. A few fast players, perhaps Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a former player of his, and a steady development and adaptation of his playing style, and you can see Liverpool being title contenders in the coming years.