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Jürgen Klopp – Five Years at Liverpool

 

It’s five years to the day since Jürgen Klopp took over at Anfield. Michael Reid analyses Klopp’s impact on Merseyside so far, and takes us on a journey that started with Klopp predicting title success in his very first press conference…

By: Michael Reid

It was the start of a new chapter for Liverpool. Captain Steven Gerrard’s playing career at the club ended with meek defeats, 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace and 6-1 away at Stoke City to end a disappointing 2014/15 season.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was afforded the start of the 2015/16 campaign to attempt to rebuild, but after just three wins in the Reds’ opening 11 games of the season in all competitions, the Northern Irishman was dismissed.

Enter Jürgen Klopp. Five years ago today, the German was confirmed as the new manager at Liverpool. The club hasn’t looked back since.

Klopp has gone on to lead the Reds to Champions League, Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League titles – the latter being their first English league championship in 30 years.

In all, Klopp has overseen 272 matches as Liverpool boss, winning 164 of those.

Indeed, the German’s 60.3% win rate in all competitions is the best of any Liverpool manager to have taken charge of at least 50 matches, ahead of the likes of Kenny Dalglish (58.3% across both spells) and Bob Paisley (57.4%).

And it isn’t just in Liverpool’s history that Klopp’s record stands out. In the Premier League, his Liverpool side have so far averaged 2.17 points-per-game – among managers with 10+ matches to their name in the competition, only Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola (2.33) can boast a superior record. Klopp is even ahead of 13-time Premier League-winning manager Sir Alex Ferguson (2.16) in this regard.

Premier League All-Time Managerial Records

ManagerGames (10+)WinsDrawsLossesGFGAPts/Game
Pep Guardiola15511419223891312.33
Jürgen Klopp18612141244021862.17
Alex Ferguson81052816811416277032.16
Antonio Conte76511015147712.14
José Mourinho33520577535832732.07
Roberto Mancini1338227242551112.05

Season-by-season, Klopp has steadily but surely built his Liverpool side towards success. In each of his seasons in charge, Liverpool have won more games than they managed in the previous campaign. Klopp’s win rate in his first season with the Reds – which included progression to the finals of both the League Cup and Europa League – was 44.2%. In 2019/20, during which Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and the English Premier League, this had risen to 71.9%.

It has been some journey for Liverpool in the last five years. An astonishing 88 players have featured at least once for the club in a competitive match since Klopp’s first, a 0-0 draw away at Tottenham in October 2015 – 58 of which were handed their club debut in this time. In the club’s 128-year history, only three managers have seen more players make their first Liverpool appearance under their leadership than Klopp (Tom Watson, George Patterson and Rafael Benítez).

The first of those 58 debuts for Liverpool awarded by Klopp was Connor Randall in a League Cup fourth-round win over Bournemouth in October 2015. The latest was Diogo Jota, coming on as a substitute in a 7-2 win at Lincoln in September, a game in which Konstantinos Tsimikas and Rhys Williams also made their club debuts in the starting XI.

Klopp’s most selected player, though, actually made his Reds debut almost exactly two months before the German’s arrival. Roberto Firmino was signed under Brendan Rodgers in 2015 but has since featured in 89% of Liverpool’s matches with Klopp at the helm (242). Only one other player – James Milner (210) – has played over 200 times for the club in the last five years.

Liverpool - Most Appearances Under Klopp

PlayerAppsStartsMins
Roberto Firmino24221118,435
James Milner21015013,999
Georginio Wijnaldum19216614,750
Jordan Henderson17815213,560
Sadio Mané17416514,272
Mohamed Salah15814913,023

Firmino now makes up one-third of one of the most renowned front threes in European football. Liverpool first added Sadio Mané in 2016 and then Mohamed Salah in 2017. The trio make up the top three Liverpool goalscorers under Klopp, netting a combined 261 times for the club – that’s 46% of Liverpool’s total goals scored in the last five years.

In Klopp’s five years in charge, no English club has beaten Liverpool more times than the Reds have beaten them (all competitions). The most any one side has beaten Klopp’s Liverpool is just three times – by Swansea City, Chelsea, Manchester City, Leicester City and Southampton.

By contrast, the Reds have earned as many as eight wins over both Bournemouth and Crystal Palace under Klopp, as well as seven against Manchester City, Leicester, Southampton, Watford, Tottenham and Everton.

Interestingly, Klopp’s Liverpool have both scored (36) and conceded (22) more goals in all competitions against Arsenal than any other club. The Reds’ 13 such meetings with the Gunners have seen 58 goals in all – an average of 4.5 per match.

Looking more broadly, Klopp has overseen record-breaking runs with Liverpool during his time at the club.

The Reds won 18 consecutive league matches from October 2019 to February 2020 – a run no side has ever bettered in the English top-flight. This streak was part of a 44-game unbeaten run in the Premier League starting in January 2019 – only Arsenal (49 from May 2003 to October 2004) have ever gone longer without a defeat in the top-flight.

They also won 24 league games in succession at Anfield from February 2019 to July 2020 – the longest home winning run any side has achieved in England’s top tier. Indeed, Klopp’s Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league at home in 61 games stretching back to the tail end of the 2016/17 season.

All of this contributed to remarkable Premier League points totals of 97 in 2018/19 and 99 last season – making up two of the top six tallies any side has ever achieved in an English top-flight campaign.

Klopp has transformed Liverpool in his five years at the club. Now the second-longest serving manager at any club in the Premier League, after Sean Dyche at Burnley, Klopp has already written himself firmly into the Reds’ history books.


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