Jurgen Klopp could flop at Liverpool

By Martin Davidsen (Flickr: Dortmund maj 2011 182) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Martin Davidsen (Flickr: Dortmund maj 2011 182) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons /

Liverpool fans are frothing at the mouth over the idea of Jurgen Klopp being named manager before the corpse of Brendan Rodgers’ employment has even gone cold. A significant number of those who support Liverpool are ready to hand the former Dortmund man a dynasty of league titles based on his past work. I’d hold off on scheduling the Champions League title celebration if I were them.

I do believe that Jurgen Klopp is the best that Liverpool can do right now to replace Rodgers. What I disagree with, is the idea that Klopp is a hiring that is not accompanied by significant risk. This move is a gamble worth taking, but is a gamble all the same.

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While Brendan Rodgers was an easy target for fans and pundits to mock, he clearly had some supporters in the Anfield dressing room. His strong voice and personality had surely worn thin on some players, but there are those who will resent Klopp replacing the manager that put so much faith in them.

I can hardly imagine that Rodgers favorites like Roberto Firmino or Philippe Coutinho being thrilled at the move. Some players will surely bristle at Klopp’s insertion in the middle of the season. The team’s talent level is not overwhelming so any players not buying in immediately to Klopp’s reign could prove problematic.

While player buy-in is a risk for any managerial change no matter who is involved, Klopp comes with his own set of risks. He has no experience in the Premier League. The list of impressive talents from abroad that have failed to make it in the Premier League is a mile long. We must acknowledge that the same risk goes along with managers. What worked for him in the Bundesliga at Dortmund, may not translate to Liverpool in the Premier League.

Perhaps the most concerning thing about Klopp is that he quit his last job. Whether or not you believe he did it due to fatigue or conflict with ownership it has to raise some alarms. Can Liverpool really afford to have a manager with limited energy? I think not. This reclamation project will need a leader with limitless energy and capacity for effort.

Even if you believe that his batteries have been recharged, his difficulty getting along with Dortmund leadership should be even more troubling. Liverpool is a proud Club that has long been governed by an oligarchy. There is no other Premier League Club that speaks so much of its transfer committee.

I’m not convinced that Liverpool is ready to cede power as Klopp will require. At the first sign of trouble, those who have lost power at Klopp’s expense will be ready to pounce. This is not a healthy environment for a club that badly needs a new direction.

Jurgen Klopp is a terrific hire for Liverpool and their fans have every right to be excited. Make no mistake though, this is a high risk, high reward move for one of England’s most historic clubs. Only time will tell if Klopp can energize Anfield the way he did at Dortmund.

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