Jürgen Klopp reached his seven-year anniversary as Liverpool manager this month. After telling Liverpool fans that he intended to change their mindsets from doubters to believers, he has gone above and beyond any expectations that may have stood on 8 October 2015.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss has become an idol in the city, helping the Reds through adversity with a brand of football that has defined an era where he has contested against a Manchester City side who have threatened total dominance.
In many ways, the Premier League could have looked a lot more like the Bundesliga in recent years had the man from the town of Glatten in the Black Forest not arrived on Merseyside.
Take a look at each of seven seasons at Anfield to date.
2015/16 – Mentality monsters are born
Klopp arrived in October 2015 and immediately began to establish his style on Merseyside to help Anfield become a fortress. The Reds made two cup finals in his opening season, with wins over Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United as the standouts in a Europa League campaign that ended in Switzerland with a defeat to Sevilla.
2016/17 – A return to the Champions League
A first full season in charge saw Klopp guide the Reds to fourth place, securing only the second top four finish for Liverpool in eight seasons.
2017/18 – Champions League final and re-qualification
Liverpool narrowly miss out on the Champions League trophy, but the Reds managed to qualify into the competition for a second straight season for the first time since 2010.
2018/19 – Champions League winners and record points total for a team finishing second
The cup final misfortune finally ends as Jordan Henderson lifts the Champions League trophy after a win over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid. A campaign that will forever be defined by Jürgen Klopp’s masterclass in overturning a 3-0 semi-final deficit against Barcelona.
Liverpool also finish the Premier League season with 97 points — the most of any team to end a campaign without winning the title.
2019/20 – The wait for a league title ends
One season after missing out on the league title by a point, Klopp guided Liverpool to 99 points to secure the Premier League and end the wait for a league title in emphatic style.
2020/21 – The Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams miracle
A season ravaged by injuries sees Klopp turn to academy stars Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams at centre-back, who helped guide Liverpool to the Champions League places by earning a third-place finish on the final day.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss continues to garner results without the resources of his competitors — a key factor in why he is considered among the best head coaches in the world.
And the start of the Fabinho and Thiago Alcântara midfield partnership.
2021/22 – A close quadruple
A Karim Benzema goal and five minutes of madness at the Etihad Stadium saw Liverpool come agonisingly close to a historical quadruple. The 2021/22 campaign had the potential to be Klopp’s best ever in his career, but two memorable days at Wembley and a standard-setting victory parade with a cup double helped ease the pain of missing out on the two biggest prizes.
As Liverpool celebrate seven years of Jürgen Klopp, it is clear that the German manager has created an era that will go down in history, setting standards that will remain difficult to match in the modern era of football.
Spending just £237m in his opening seven seasons, he has guided the club to over 90 points on three occasions, while reaching the same number of Champions League finals. The hope must be that having done it once, he can do it again — of course, this time from a much higher starting point.
“Nobody can compete [with Manchester City],” he said in the embargoed section of his press conference ahead of facing Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend. “You have the best team in the world and you put in the best striker.
“We cannot act like them. It is not possible. It is just clear… and again you know the answer. There are three clubs in world football who can do what they want financially. It’s legal and everything, fine, but they can do what they want.
“We have to look at it and say ‘we need that and we need that and we have to look here and make it younger, and here’s a prospect and here’s a talent’ and that is what you have to do. And you compete with them.
“It is not a problem at all for me. You all know it, it is not possible to deal with that and it will be like this. I heard Eddie Howe say there is no ceiling for Newcastle and he is absolutely right. There is no ceiling.”
The reality is that Liverpool can’t compete financially, but under Klopp, they have competed admirably over the past few seasons and will do so again.
Klopp remains contracted at Anfield until 2026 after signing a new contract during the last campaign. As the Reds face up to the tough task of punching above their financial weight once again, the last seven seasons are proof of exactly why there is no one better to have at the helm.
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