Jurgen Klopp adamant he will have 'first word and last word' on Liverpool transfers
German football lovers may have had something of a sore head after Shane Long and Ireland chipped away at their aura as kings of world football on a magical Thursday night in Dublin, yet normal service was resumed as one of the figureheads of the German game made an impressive debut performance as Liverpool manager.
First impressions last and Jurgen Klopp knew as much as he sat before a packed press conference that confirmed a new era was underway at Anfield.
While the German national team was evidently rattled by the wondrous occasion that was the Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, the calmness and composure you associate with this efficient sporting nation was in evidence once more as Klopp laid out his vision for Liverpool’s future.
It was an immaculate presentation from this impressive coach, who arrives with a CV that confirms he is worthy of a position that has lost some of its gloss in recent times.
Klopp has vowed to bring Liverpool back to the top of the English game and if his demeanour and confidence are any guide to what lies ahead, then there is every reason to believe this 48-year-old tactician will achieve so much more than those that have gone before him over the last two decades.
On his opening day in the job, Klopp cleared up a few significant questions and his answers were all given with a ring of authority.
First of all, the much-maligned transfer committee is set to stay, despite suggestions that their meddling during Brendan Rodgers time as manager undermined his hopes of success at Anfield.
The subject of player recruitment, and the much talked-about 'transfer committee', was raised and Klopp said: "It's enough for me to have the first and last word.
"We only want to discuss really good players. I'm not a genius, I don't know more than the rest of the world. I need the other people to get perfect information. It's really easy to handle it."
Secondly, he was keen to bring a brand of “full throttle football” to Liverpool and if his Borussia Dortmund teams were any gauge to what that means, then Reds fans have plenty to look forward to in the post-Rodgers era
His third stand-out point was perhaps the most significant. While Klopp’s predecessor spent far too long eulogising over Liverpool’s cherished history in his media briefings (as he tried to give the club’s followers what he thought they wanted to hear), the new man at the helm was wise to suggest the past needs to be cherished by not obsessed over as he looks to create a new dynasty of success.
“At the moment, the LFC family is a bit too nervous and pessimistic,” suggested Klopp, who hinted that the club is weighed down by its own glorious past.
“It is a great atmosphere in the stadium but they don't believe right now. History is great but only to remember. We need to be as successful as we can be.”
Dampening down expectations with polite and courteous answers that were delivered in more than adequately spoken English, Klopp’s beaming trademark smile was seen time and again as he reflected on what he described as his ‘surreal’ emotions as he became Liverpool manager.
“We signed the contract yesterday and today, I woke up as Liverpool manager, it is surreal,” said the former Borussia Dortmund boss, who served up a mixture of jovial comments and steely determination before his captivated audience. “We have to change from doubters to believers.”
His headline grabbing suggestion that he was “just the normal one” confirmed that he would not go down the Jose Mourinho route to self-promotion on his first day at Anfield and while it is impossible to judge the most intriguing new face in English football after just one day in the job, this was a sparkling start from Klopp.
“When I left Dortmund, I felt it was not so important what people think when you come in, but what they feel when you leave,” he concluded.
No manager has bought lasting success to Liverpool since their last league title triumph way back in 1990, but there is genuine belief that their latest managerial pick could break that mould.
We are going to have a lot of fun watching Jurgen Klopp go about his work over the next few years.