Borussia Dortmund manager has right personality and style of play to become future Arsenal manager but does he have what it takes to rebuild a team?
1. He nurtures young players
There are clear comparisons in the way Jurgen Klopp has given young players their opportunity at Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal’s own model. Arsenal are now in a better position to compete for elite players but they always want to be a club that produces and gives opportunities to young talent. They must appoint a manager who buys into that philosophy.
2. His teams play attacking football
Klopp famously once likened Arsenal’s style of football to that of a silent song compared to the heavy metal he prefers. It was not meant as a criticism but the implication was that, while his teams might be less precise and perfect, they perhaps have more personality. They are also excellent on the counter-attack and take plenty of risks. Arsenal would certainly still be exciting to watch.
3. He has the personality to succeed a legend
The difficulties that can be faced by any manager in following a club legend is well documented. It has been most recently evident at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson departed and Arsenal believe that eventually replacing Wenger will be their greatest challenge. Klopp, though, has the big personality and charisma not to be daunted by the challenge.
4. He craves stability in his work
Klopp has previously turned down an approach by Chelsea and, in how he has stayed long-term at his two managerial jobs at FSV Mainz and now Dortmund, it is clear that he values stability. The Arsenal mode, then, will be greatly appealing. Klopp knows that he would be given a proper chance and he himself would not be seeing the opportunity as some sort of stepping stone.
1. Timing in football is everything
Football’s constantly evolving landscape makes it almost impossible to predict the future and, for now, there is no vacancy at Arsenal. Will Klopp wait? Will he be tempted by another job in England or will the German national team come calling? His star may also have faded by the time Wenger leaves Arsenal.
2. He has never worked outside the Bundesliga
Wenger has himself stressed that, if Klopp can succeed in Germany, he can certainly do the same in England. But there have been plenty of examples of coaches who have struggled to make the transition and Klopp would find himself far from his comfort zone in the Premier League.
3. Does he know how to rebuild a team?
The Dortmund team that won two Bundesliga titles and reached the Champions League final was outstanding but, bit by bit, the best players have been picked off by Bayern Munich. That is likely to continue with Marco Reus and, with his team currently 16th in the Bundesliga, the rebuilding work has been patchy.
4. His heart is with Dortmund
Wenger always refers to Arsenal as the “club of my life” and, having been at the club for seven years, it often seems that Klopp feels the same way about Dortmund. Yes, they do not have the revenues to compete with Munich for players but there are few bigger clubs in Europe in terms of the fanatical supporters and wonderful Westfalenstadion.