How long will it take Jurgen Klopp to win the Premier League with Liverpool?
It’s incredible how a change of manager can transform the mood around a football club. With Brendan Rodgers, the level of negativity surrounding Liverpool was at an almighty high. The fans were frustrated at the consistently inconsistent results, and there were no signs that things were looking up.
Now, things are completely different. With Jurgen Klopp being brought in to replace Rodgers, the wave of optimism around Anfield is very conspicuous. The group of players is the same, but having a proven winner at the helm has seen the expectations rise. In his first game in charge, Klopp had injury problems aplenty in every area of the pitch, but still saw his side put in an inspired performance in a difficult away game at Tottenham Hotspur. They were under the cosh for large parts in the game, but managed to come away with a point following an entertaining goalless draw.
Optimism vs Realism
Now it’s easy to get carried away when such a big name becomes the manager of your team. There is no doubt that Klopp will be aiming to be a Premier League champion in the near future with the Reds. But how much is too much, when it comes to expectations?
This year, the title race is so unpredictable that it will be won by the team that wants it most, rather than the team with the best squad. No side has been consistent and with the likes of West Ham United and Leicester City in the top 5, one doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. Manchester City are top and look unstoppable on their day, but have also been beaten twice in unceremonious fashion.
Liverpool are currently in 10th place, but are just 4 points away from the Champions League places. Being in Europe’s most elite club competition will be high on Klopp’s radar, as he looks to re-establish the Reds as one of the premier forces in the continent. They have lost that aura in the past few seasons, and despite their rich history, have seen their best players leave for pastures new in search of silverware.
As far as winning the Premier League goes, it clearly looks a step too far for Liverpool this season. They can be a really solid unit when they play well and Klopp looks just the man to help them do that. In his highly successful days at Borussia Dortmund where he won back-to-back Bundesliga titles between 2010 and 2012, he brought the best out of players you wouldn’t necessarily classify as ‘world-class’. Now, he is faced with almost exactly the same assignment on Merseyside.
In Germany, he really only had one team to contend with – Bayern Munich. In England, the situation is completely different. Along with there being 3 or 4 other contenders, nearly every match is a struggle. The gap between the teams is getting bridged nearly every week and there is not a single game where a top side can go in thinking it’s a foregone conclusion.
Therefore, this challenge is completely different to what Klopp has ever done in his career. It is very important that the fans give him time and don’t expect too much, too soon. There is no doubt that the 48 year-old is a top manager and will forge a side capable of winning things. But with the limited resources at his disposal, he has to start from scratch. The first step will obviously be to get Liverpool back in the Champions League. This will help attract top players to Anfield and also boost revenues.
The journey to the top will be a process and even if the Reds look good to challenge either this season or the next, it will realistically take 2-3 years before they can be considered legitimate title contenders. Klopp has vowed to do it within the next 4 years, and there are several reasons to believe that he will deliver.