Why a trophyless season should cost Jurgen Klopp his job
This season will mark Jurgen Klopp’s third campaign at Liverpool's helm. During his first two seasons, Klopp enjoyed peace of mind. No pressure came from any angle. His every decision was backed by both the Liverpool board and fans.
However, his trophyless run is a major concern. Yes, the German tactician has transformed Liverpool into a fearsome European beast. The Reds boasted the continent's best attack. No defender other than Sergio Ramos wanted to go toe-to-toe against the Reds. Ask Manchester City. Even when the Real Madrid captain took Mo Salah out with a move that would make Thanos proud, Sadio Mane still found the back of the net in Kyiv.
Other than the Champions League final, 2017/18 was a disappointment for Liverpool. They finished 25 points adrift League leaders Manchester City in fourth and were knocked out of both the League and FA Cups. The only conclusion to be made at season's end was the club were one or two pieces away from being serious contenders.
No wonder then they were busy in the summer transfer window. Forget one or two. Four new upgrades have been made to the squad.
Allison's arrival should solve the problem between the sticks for the Reds. Liverpool finally have a world-class goalkeeper.
Naby Keita, whose deal was made a year earlier provided he could remain with RB Leipzig for the 2017/18 season, is a box-to-box midfielder who suits Klopp's tactics perfectly. Keita can hold the ball and has the strength to handle physical opponents.
Fabinho's versatility offers Klopp options. He can play right back in addition to shielding the defense as a midfield destroyer. In a pinch, he can slot in at centre half. The word you most often hear to describe the Brazilian is strong.
Xherdan Shaqiri is a game changer who will strengthen the bench and serve as a back-up on the right wing, in attacking midfield, or as a second striker.
The quartet cost Liverpool €182.2 million but have strengthened the squad from back to front. With good players filling every position even and waiting in reserve, it's time for Klopp to play his part. He must effectively deploy the weapons at his disposal.
As Liverpool manager, Klopp has reached three finals, coming away with zero trophies. In his first year, he reached the FA Cup and Europa League showcases, endured a sophomore jinx, then tripped over the final hurdle in the Champions League last term. Although he also lost his last final with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp had more success in Germany. He led Borussia Dortmund to successive Bundesliga titles, winning the DFB Pokal to do the double in the second year. He left Bayern Munich no choice but to raid his squad for Mario Gotze and, more crucially, Robert Lewandowski. The good times ended for him at BVB when he lost the 2013 Champions League final to his rejuvenated rivals.
The 2014/15 season at the Westfalonstadion began disastrously. After flirting with relegation through the winter break, Klopp rallied the side back to seventh but announced in April he would resign at season's end. Anfield's standards are higher. Three seasons without silverware is more patience than the club usually exhibits. The board has supported him in the press and the transfer market. Now it is time to deliver with no further excuses. As enjoyable as the ride has been, another barren season should mark the end of Jurgen Klopp's Merseyside tenure.