Jürgen Klopp’s Unmistakeable Influence on the Premier League

We take a look back at Jürgen Klopp’s magical run in Liverpool, while also determining his place amongst the English Premier League’s greatest managers. 

After eight success-riddled seasons at Anfield, Jürgen Klopp will leave his role as Liverpool manager at the end of the 2023-24 season. The German arrived to a woeful Liverpool side compared to the standards of old, and in his near decade of service, he has achieved more than even the most optimistic Reds fan could’ve hoped for.

liverpool jurgen klopp

When an iconic figure leaves, be it a player or manager; it always begs a question.

So where does Klopp stand in the pantheon of Premier League managers?

First, we should remind ourselves exactly what situation he entered. Liverpool finished sixth in the season before his arrival and only placed in the top four once in the five years before he touched down in Merseyside. Under his charge, Liverpool have finished in the top four in six out of seven seasons, and have been a perennial favorite to win the league amongst pundits, fans, and top betting sites alike.

He came in with supreme pedigree, having guided Borussia Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga triumphs, and brought them inches away from a UEFA Champions League crown. His iconic style of football took inspiration from the likes of Arrigo Sacchi and Wolfgang Frank, and is often affectionately referred to as “heavy metal football.”

This style with gegenpressing at its core brought immense success and changed the way Premier League sides had to approach games against Liverpool.

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The period of 2018-2020 was the defining era for Klopp’s Reds. In this two-year span, he spearheaded the club to its sixth Champions League triumph and ended a 30-year Premier League title drought. These two feats would be impressive for a manager in a five-year run, much less two, but what’s more remarkable are the performances in this time.

The 2018-19 Premier League season is fondly remembered as one of the greatest title races ever, with Klopp’s Liverpool just barely losing out to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City by one point. In this season, Liverpool conceded the fewest goals (22) and lost only one of their 38 league games. They never really felt out of any match and scored an absurd amount of late goals to snatch points where it seemed impossible. Yet somehow, City just found a way to drag themselves over the line in the end.

I can barely recall a more seemingly unbeatable team than this version of Klopp’s Liverpool when they played at Anfield. They were the embodiment of tenacity and desire, and this was shown in the following season, 2019-20, when they rattled off 17 wins in a row between March and October, the second-longest Premier League win streak in history at the time.

On its own, this is another remarkable cap in Klopp’s feather. However, after a 1-1 draw against bitter rivals Manchester United ended the streak, Liverpool unbelievably went on another 18-match win streak, a joint record with Guardiola’s Man City team of 2017 that stands to this day.

This was Liverpool pushing out their chest and shouting to the world that they would no longer be denied. They finished the 2019-20 season a staggering 18 points clear of City, just one point shy of a magical 100, losing only three games and again boasting the league’s staunchest defense.

One of the biggest factors to this success is linked to Klopp’s best attribute: His remarkable ability to bring out the absolute best of seemingly every player he comes across.

liverpool jurgen klopp

Looking back at Liverpool’s singings in the last decade makes for incredible reading. Names like Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, and Mohammed Salah are now iconic figures of Klopp’s era, and while they were signed with decent expectations, the levels they were able to hit under Klopp are staggering.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are the best examples of his impact though. Robertson joined the Reds for a minuscule fee in 2017, and his arrival coincided with Alexander-Arnold’s breakthrough on the opposite flank. The two are now almost unrecognizable from the players who began their Liverpool careers with Klopp. They have evolved into two of the best fullbacks in the world, and are cornerstones of what the German has built.

Klopp through the years has shown he is an elite man-manager, maybe one of the best of all time, but he has also simultaneously shown his stuff as an elite tactician, game manager, and mentality monster.

Liverpool currently sit top of the league, two points clear of City and Arsenal, with another potential classic title race on the cards. With Klopp’s announcement, his players will be more inspired and determined than ever to deliver another Premier League title for their boss and send him off on a high.

Regardless of how this season ends though, Klopp’s legacy is already cemented. During his run in England, he revolutionized Liverpool’s style and identity, dominated the Premier League in a manner rarely seen, and delivered every single major trophy he could. That’s six trophies in eight seasons so far.

He also boasts the third-highest points-per-game tally in league history behind only Sir Alex Ferguson and Guardiola, while having the best win percentage of any manager in Liverpool’s history at the time of writing. Taking Liverpool from proverbial outsiders to bonafide powerhouses, he’s been transformative for the club in a way that has rarely ever been done.

Where you rank him in the greatest Premier League manager debate may come down to personal preference. Ferguson, Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mouinho. But Jurgen Klopp is right up there, truly deserving his place among these names as one of the greatest managers the English game has ever seen.

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