The Anfield Talk’s Robin (@robbiemac72) reflects on the previous campaign and the upcoming season…
Liverpool finished a rather disappointing 4th in the 2017/18 season just gone in a season that promised so much and delivered so little. True the revelation of Mo Salah’s prolific goal scoring record breaking season meant the Kop found a new hero but alas no trophies. The Fab Trio of Salah, Firmino and Mane destroyed many a defense but came up short in the Champions league final against now 13 times winners Real Madrid. Yes our manager now has an unenviable record of reaching three major European finals and losing all three. One Champions league final defeat with Borussia Dortmund versus Bayern Munich, The Godfather of German football in 2013. Runners up in The Europa League and Champions League In 2016 and 2018 to Sevilla and Real respectively. So near and yet so far.
However these statistics don’t paint the full picture. I think Herr Jürgen Klopp is a perfect fit for Liverpool FC and I’ve not been as excited about our recent signings since back in the days of the 1987/88 season when we bought John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton, having previously acquired John Aldridge and Steve Staunton in the 1986/87 season.
Why I’m I going back this far and what’s it got to do with our recent signings? Well I think we’re on the right track with the players Klopp has brought in, the most recent Fabinho from Monaco for £43.7 million. Fekir is still pending. Salah, Mane, Firmino we’ve taken for granted now almost but these were astute signings by Klopp just like Barnes, Aldridge and Beardsley were for Kenny Dalglish back then. They let Ian Rush go to Juventus for a British record transfer fee of £3.2 million, just like Klopp let Coutinho go to Barcelona for a record £105 million, set to rise to £142 million if certain clause are met. We’re now continuing the rich vein of signing quality players again thanks to Klopp. Other notable mentions are Andy Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk and Naby Kïeta. Now tell me you ain’t excited about the future!
The infrastructure and the background staff is another vital area Klopp has strengthened with a nutrition specialist, Mona Nemmer, and Andreas Kornmayer, fitness coach brought into the backroom staff. Zelko Buvac longtime assistant manager’s departure or leave of absence, depends on what you believe is a blow for Klopp but not a fatal blow. The strength of the squad if we’re to challenge for the Premier league and other honors needs to be built upon particularly in the goalkeeping area, a weakness in the Klopp empire, his achilles heel of the season just gone. FSG have put their money where their mouth is with the development of the stadium at Anfield and the transfer cash given to Jürgen Klopp in whom they believe can bring glory back to Liverpool FC. It’s long over due after decades of mediocre signings, false dawns, one disastrous manager appointment (a clue: he was manager of FC Copenhagen once), the bitterness in selling world class players like Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres. We’re standing up to be counted as a World best football club again with the ghosts of past greats and current living legends urging us on with genuine belief in the signings we’ve made and are pursuing. The future is good, long live Herr Klopp!