I’m worried. Not for anything as trivial as a league title. No, I’m worried for Jurgen Klopp.
Since he came here, he’s had to sacrifice more and more of himself and his playing style to meet the demands of a league where football is secondary. This is not who this man is.
His teams used to play with a smile on their face and with movement and a natural sharpness that can only come from not just being invested but loving what you do. That love is missing right now and it’s missing in Klopp.
It’s unsurprising that the level he’s reached over the last two seasons is not being reached again this year, and that’s before we factor in these unprecedented of times.
I worry that Klopp is going to leave Liverpool, but in a way I worry that he won’t. Those who know me know that wins and losses are secondary to me, I’m a fan of the game first and foremost. I said last season that I felt guilty almost that with a 30 year wait for a title over, I was missing the days we were playing heavy metal football.
You could say it’s being spoiled, and maybe it is but for me, it’s just enjoying the game for what it is, what it’s meant to be. Football has been corrupted by money in my eyes. The lack of parity leads to teams doing anything they can to compete including putting 11 men behind the ball and boring the opposition to sleep to hit them on the break. Then we talk about how “brave” they are.
Brave is what Bielsa is doing at Leeds and what Howe did at Bournemouth. What usually happens there though is those teams are not rewarded for long because they can’t compete long term due to the financial restrictions they have.
Klopp is better suited to overcoming the odds than being a front runner. We know he can do both but there’s a magic about him when he’s doing the former. It’s who he is.
I’ve said time and time again I’m done with this league, and I am. I used to watch every game I could, now I just watch Liverpool. Watching Liverpool at the moment is a duty more than anything. There’s no enjoyment in it. I want to win, of course, but I want to win playing football and I want to see Klopp and the lads smiling again.
If this is taking too much out of Jurgen, then it’s with a heavy heart that I’d say I’d prefer he leaves. I hope this is premature, I hope he can turn it around and remember what brought him joy from football because in the end, that not trophies is what matters most to me and while I believe part of him needed to prove he could win the big trophies, he’s done that now.
From the other side, it’s important to point out this could just be done to current circumstances. We’ve been heavily affected by injuries, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, our players never even got to celebrate their greatest achievement in the league with fans and now they play in an empty Anfield when they need us as much as they ever have.
Jurgen will fight, of that I have no doubt but I just wish we could be there to fight with him, because he and his team clearly feed off that. As he acknowledges though and we all must, there are bigger things at stake here, not just in Liverpool but around the world.
A change has to come, I just wonder what that change may be. Whatever he decides, he has my full unwavering support because Jurgen Klopp and what he has given to our club means more to me than any trophy ever could.