“In the moment it’s tough, it’s tough,” admitted Jürgen Klopp after Liverpool’s defeat to Leicester on February 13. Per week later, after a house loss to native rivals Everton that marked Liverpool’s worst residence run since 1923, the German coach admitted he didn’t “see any relation to the last three years” that would clarify such a dramatic and sudden lack of type.
But what about additional again than that? Between 2010 and 2013, Borussia Dortmund received the Bundesliga twice, the German Cup as soon as and reached the Champions League ultimate, an identical run of success to the one Liverpool has loved over the previous two seasons.
These successes each got here after the previous Mainz boss had put in a number of years of groundwork, teaching gamers and making certain they invested absolutely in his hard-pressing, full-throttle model. There has been some suggestion that the calls for Klopp locations on his gamers could also be troublesome to maintain, significantly when the tide turns. But the person who wrote his biography at Dortmund disagrees.
“Of course, Klopp’s style of football demands a lot from the players, but he was very successful with it for several years at both Dortmund and Liverpool,” Elmar Neveling, writer of Jürgen Klopp: Echte Liebe (True Love), instructed DW. “Seven years at Dortmund, now five and a half years at Liverpool — what other coach can boast such long tenures today? As long as Klopp can make personnel changes, the intensity can be sustained over a longer period of time.”
While with the ability to rotate gamers is helpful for any coach, various accidents to key males is rarely simple to deal with. Liverpool has been undone by long-term accidents to central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, in addition to a string of extra minor complaints. Neveling additionally factors to accidents and a common drop-off in health as another excuse for the malaise that noticed Dortmund slide to second-from-bottom of the Bundesliga on the winter break in 2014-15.
Neven Subotic, a key defensive part in that Dortmund aspect, admitted that some complacency had additionally crept in.
“When you get the feeling as a player that you’ve already achieved something, that you have a bit of experience, you suddenly don’t want to say ‘yes’ to everything anymore,” he instructed The Athletic on the problem of declining depth.
Dortmund additionally skilled a distinct form of loss that 12 months with the departure of Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich on a free forward of the brand new season, a hammer blow that got here only a 12 months after Mario Götze trod an identical path.
Similarities apart, there are additionally some crucial elements over which Klopp has no management. Like each aspect in world soccer, Liverpool has needed to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. And whereas Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold have all been laid low by the virus, it’s maybe off the pitch the place the impression is most keenly felt.
Liverpool missing help of ‘holy trinity’
“Without doubt the team have missed the fans, especially at home,” Joe Blott, an everyday at Anfield since 1972 and chair of the Liverpool Supporters Union, Spirit of Shankly, instructed DW. “The workforce’s power ranges have understandably dropped given final season’s distinctive performances however the crowd aren’t there simply once they want us most.
“So often the fans are the 12th man and it is devastating we are not there to show support and lift the team. As Bill Shankly said, there is a holy trinity between the team, the manager and the fans at Liverpool and unfortunately a part of that trinity is not available.” Continue reading