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Old 08-10-21, 07:27 PM   #8761
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Quite a few surprises there.

Clyne played 30 more games under Klopp and Shaq
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Old 08-10-21, 07:34 PM   #8762
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Can anyone post the Athletic article about us maybe letting Klopp take a one year sabbatical at the end of his contract?
As it stands, Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool in successive summers.

A sentence which surely leaves lumpen fear sitting across the chests of those followers the pair have so frequently sent dancing into the night.

Perhaps, indeed, there would be less concern about Salah’s contract impasse if it was known that Klopp was sticking around to try to keep the good times rolling.

Klopp has long maintained that 2023-24 will be his last season as Liverpool manager, and it seems the separation date from a club he has transformed remains imprinted on his mind.

Last Thursday, as the rain lashed down on his waterproof jacket, he lifted the mood by making a joke about the length of a speech by one of the building contractors commissioned to construct Liverpool’s new Anfield Road stand — suggesting that with the time left once the contractor had finished and the stand was ready, he might be able to, at the very least, take charge of a few games in front of it before riding off into the sunset.

Tomorrow, October 8, Klopp will have been at Liverpool for exactly six years. He still has the presence to command total attention whenever he speaks. While a small crowd clung on to his every word, giggling away especially at this particular comment, there must have been some sadness for anyone listening with a positive interest in the club’s fortunes.

The clock is ticking.

Soon enough, it will be someone else’s responsibility to summon the spirit and atmosphere that has led to wild, improbable victories like those over Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona, and more routine ones, including on several occasions their closest domestic rival in sporting terms, Manchester City.

The signs are that Michael Edwards will leave as well — only maybe sooner. The sporting director, credited with designing a data and scouting structure worthy of complementing Klopp’s talent, is thinking about moving on in July, once his contract is over.

If there is any sort of understanding at ownership level about setting the sort of tone that might aid a team in their pursuits, Fenway Sports Group would intercept three years of relentless conversation about the prospect of impending departures by arranging quickly for Salah to extend his stay.

klopp-salah
Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah are on course to leave Liverpool in successive summers (Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images)
Given what happened to Georginio Wijnaldum, perhaps you can extend such concern across four or even five years.

Though five key players have been retained on longer-term deals since the Netherlands midfielder left for nothing after last season, a continued sense of trepidation among Liverpool’s febrile supporter base is understandable given they might soon be forced to face a future without both one of the most prolific goalscorers in the club’s history and a manager who will be remembered, no matter what happens from here, as one of the greatest they have had.

It would be interesting to know what Salah thinks of Klopp’s plans, especially if fluency-related arguments are used in attempts to persuade him to re-sign. It could be suggested that the set-up at Liverpool suits Salah — that a team designed by Klopp brings the best out of him in a way one designed by another manager might not.

Wijnaldum is finding the going tougher at new club Paris Saint-Germain for these reasons, just as Philippe Coutinho did before him having pushed for a transfer to Barcelona. The problem with such an argument is any new deal for Salah would see just one more season under Klopp before the latter moves on himself.

The Anfield crowd adore Salah and if his social media accounts are anything to go by, he feels that love. After scoring against Crystal Palace in front of the Kop last month, there was a power in his messaging, as he wrote: “You, the fans, keep me going. You give me more strength than I think you’ll ever know.”

Salah might come to consider whether the venue where he has scored so many times will remain the same happy place after Klopp has departed, and is no longer inspiring such feats. Does Klopp’s potential absence reduce the record-breaking possibilities that otherwise might also tempt him to remain where he is?



The Egyptian has changed games for Liverpool, as he did against Manchester City last Sunday. Yet it is Klopp who defines the environment — the real difference-maker.

Though he has not been in charge for anywhere near the same length of time as them, it is impossible to imagine him not leading Liverpool in the same way it was, at one point, impossible to imagine Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsenal minus Arsene Wenger.

Look at how it has worked out for both of those clubs. Ferguson would retire in 2013, the same month as United’s chief executive David Gill. With their departures, United lost much of their institutional memory in one swoop and they have been trying to recover from that ever since. It is up to Fenway Sports Group to prove that layering a similar sort of goodbye process over a longer period can work better.

Meanwhile, maybe it was time for Wenger to go in 2018 but, like at United, there was time to prepare for that eventuality. Arsenal’s record on every relevant level since has been worse than it was when Wenger was in charge.

Upon Ferguson’s exit from Old Trafford and Wenger’s at the Emirates, the odds of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mikel Arteta succeeding them at any point over the next decade would have been enormous. Their appointments and continued employment despite their teams’ struggles are reminders of the challenges Liverpool potentially face after Klopp. Steven Gerrard, possibly, but there are few obvious candidates waiting to step into his shoes.

Perhaps the club and Klopp himself could learn from history.

Bill Shankly and Kenny Dalglish resigned as Liverpool manager nearly 17 years apart and within a few months, both started to regret it. On each occasion, they were offered the chance of a break before returning to the job at a later date. On each occasion, they rejected that generous proposal.

Last month, Klopp reaffirmed his plans to German broadcaster RTL, suggesting that he wanted to remind himself of what it is like to lead a “normal life again.” He could not remember the last time he was able to “switch off” from the pressures of management. He started out at a low level in the game and has since worked relentlessly to get to where he is. He spoke of needing a “year”.

So, why not give him that year?

It would make sense from both perspectives.

Maybe it will feel different a couple of years from now but, presently, it makes absolutely no sense for the club to let a manager who has delivered everything he promised and more slip away so easily. Among the fanbase, there is no demand for a new beginning either. Klopp continues to feel fresh.

The bigger issue is Klopp, of course, for whom freshness is an issue.

Would it be such an outrageous thing if Pep Lijnders or another member of his coaching staff stepped up for 12 months?

Shankly and Dalglish carried their regrets with them for longer than just a few months. While Shankly died seven years later questioning the haste with which he made “the most important decision in my life”, Dalglish would not return to the position he craved for nearly 20 years.

Maybe Klopp will head into international management and that will be it but for addictive personalities like his, would such a role, with all of its restrictions, deliver the same buzz? Klopp has more of a hinterland than, say, Shankly, but characters like him don’t change — especially at 58, the age at which he is expected to leave Anfield.

If he sees a future elsewhere in club football, it is doubtful he will ever be able to find what he has at Liverpool, where there is control and a creative freedom to express himself.

At Bayern Munich, for example, he could only achieve what someone else has already achieved. He grew up supporting Stuttgart but would be starting from such a low base there (they are currently 12th in the Bundesliga) it does not make sense.

There are cities similar in spirit to Liverpool which could provide the same sort of stimulus, but he does not speak French or Italian well enough to steer Marseille or Napoli like he has Liverpool, where he has delivered the Premier League title but, as yet, without experiencing the fullest expression of public emotion that naturally goes with it.

Other challenges lie ahead at Anfield — he is yet to prove he is capable of delivering a second Liverpool team worthy of honours.

Yet his status means he could turn back if he wanted to, as Ferguson did in 2001, just before he turned 60, having planned to retire five months later. Instead, Ferguson found the energy to lead United to six more league titles over the next 11 years – pressing against promises he had made to his family when he realised life would never be the same again if he went.

Klopp has given similar assurances to his closest relatives, as he did in 2015 when deciding to leave after seven years at Borussia Dortmund, where there was never going to be a way back because his relationships with other high-level figures at the club had reached a natural end — unlike at Liverpool.

Four months into that sabbatical, after many hours spent on the tennis court, he answered his phone one quiet afternoon to find that Anfield was calling.

He knew he had to consult his loved ones first and this knowledge prompted him to place his hands on his mouth to stop himself from accepting the offer straight away.

Deep down, he knew what he wanted to happen.
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Old 08-10-21, 08:19 PM   #8763
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Thanks mate

I’ve only read the first line Maybe I need a drink for this one!
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Old 08-10-21, 08:25 PM   #8764
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I’m all over that as a plan though. Makes perfect sense.
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Old 08-10-21, 09:01 PM   #8765
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Sounds ludicrous and not even remotely likely to me. Can’t see it helping Klopp much either, he’d still have to be involved in all of the off field decisions anyway as they’d impact him on his return.
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Old 09-10-21, 07:08 AM   #8766
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I suppose he wouldn't have to worry about signings.

But, agreed it would hardly be the time away he's looking for.
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Old 09-10-21, 07:36 AM   #8767
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Good but slightly pointless article as it’s just conjecture but I wouldn’t mind that happening
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Old 09-10-21, 07:43 AM   #8768
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It will never happen, it sounds like Klopp wants to go back for personal reasons and who could blame him, the quality of the life in Germany is better and that's where he's from.
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Old 09-10-21, 07:44 AM   #8769
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Such charisma

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Old 09-10-21, 07:46 AM   #8770
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I missed those 2 as well
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Old 09-10-21, 08:02 AM   #8771
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Sounds ludicrous and not even remotely likely to me. Can’t see it helping Klopp much either, he’d still have to be involved in all of the off field decisions anyway as they’d impact him on his return.
: It sounds reasonable in principle but as soon as you look at it in any detail you don't see how it could work. Surely Klopp’s desire for a break requires him not to be linked to a club otherwise he wouldn't be able to help himself but be involved.There would always be this feeling that he was still the boss, so the players might not perform for someone else. And if the person in temporary charge was doing badly their would be pressure for him to come back early. Unfortunately it looks a non-starter to me.
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Old 09-10-21, 09:07 AM   #8772
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Dunno. It’s not that radical. Would perhaps be an imperfect season for us, and there could be issues for that one year. But better that for one season than perhaps years in the wilderness. When you factor in how young Klopp is, how talented, I’d be looking at options if I ran the club. You don’t come across genius managerial communicators all that often. Sabbaticals exist in other highly pressured industries.

Still, some of you *cough* Kenneth *cough* had written him off last season, so perhaps don’t see his value
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Old 09-10-21, 10:10 AM   #8773
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Sounds ludicrous and not even remotely likely to me. Can’t see it helping Klopp much either, he’d still have to be involved in all of the off field decisions anyway as they’d impact him on his return.
He just wouldn't be able to switch off at all, he'd be watching all the games and constantly on the phone. An absolute non-starter.
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Old 09-10-21, 12:04 PM   #8774
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Yeah, seems more like a comfort blanket of an idea than a practical way forward.

I don’t think it would work for Klopp personally and I don’t think Klopp would agree with putting Pepijn (presumably it would be him?) in the position of having to step aside again when he came back.

Wish it could be longer, but 7 years is still a good long stint these days.
Klopp will be our longest serving appointment in 40 years, since Bob Paisley.
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Old 15-10-21, 02:01 PM   #8775
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I wonder would he walk if we were bought by the Chinese investment fund for example
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