Bengaluru, September 16: On 8 October 2015, Jurgen Klopp returned to football as a manager cutting his plan of taking a year of sabbatical following a long eight-year stint with Borussia Dortmund as the Liverpool job was too big to say no to.
At that time, Liverpool looked nowhere close to a side capable of fighting for the titles and look at them after four years under Klopp! They are champions of Europe for the sixth time and almost ended their Premier League drought last season.
What a turnaround Klopp has managed to deliver at Anfield and the Reds still look very much in the process to become even stronger and stronger.
The manager and the club owners both deserve all the plaudits in the world for showing their patience and perseverance to drag Liverpool back to the business. They are once again a feared side in Europe just like they used to be and it has not been an overnight thing.
Here are three things Klopp has done to make Liverpool a force to reckon once again:
1. Never sacrificing on his targets
Jurgen Klopp has been exceptional in the transfer market at Liverpool during his time at the club and never gave up on his targets even if it meant waiting longer. Virgil van Dijk was his primary centre-back target at Anfield for quite some time and he waited almost a year to finally make Southampton accept an offer for the Dutchman.
It was world record fee for a defender back then and many a people raised plenty of questions for spending such a huge amount of £75 million for a defender but look at the impact he had in the team. His UEFA Player of the Year award speaks for that and Klopp must be praised for showing such resilience in getting his targets.
2. Building squad depth
No world class team can succeed without a strong bench. Only a quality starting XI is not always enough especially for the team that wants to compete on all fronts. Liverpool have slowly but certainly accumulated a deep squad and especially a deep midfield, the area where Klopp likes to tweak the most.
Liverpool fought strongly both in Europe and in the League last season thanks to having a strong bench. The likes of Shaqiri or Origi delivered when it mattered the most to the club and the gaffer needed them. Maintaining the squad harmony especially when the team is big calls for brilliant man management and that is an area Klopp has excelled at Liverpool.
3. Bringing an patient approach to the game
In Klopp's early days at Liverpool, the Reds played an outright attacking game but the right result was not always achieved. The Reds used to concede an awful lot of goals in the break. However, over the years, Klopp has tweaked his natural attacking game.
The Reds still play on the front foot but with more control in the game. Creating chances against Liverpool is now a really tough job as teams can hardly catch them on the break. There is so much control in the game Liverpool have. It is really suffocating and frustrating for the opponent players with the way Liverpool attack them and press them whenever they lose the ball.
Klopp's geggenpressing style is now much different to what it used to be at Borussia Dortmund. Klopp's ability to adapt is really praise-worthy and is the key to Liverpool's meteoric rise.