Michael Owen has backed Jurgen Klopp to build a winning dynasty at Liverpool, as he believes the club’s first League title in three decades could open the floodgates for so much more.
After Liverpool ended their long wait for title glory on Thursday night, Owen suggested Klopp’s champions could already be placed alongside some of the great sides that have represented Liverpool throughout their glorious history.
Now the former Anfield goal machine wants to see Liverpool rule the Premier League for years to come, as he believes breaking Manchester City’s dominance of the English game is an achievement that could pave the way for a succession of title triumphs.
“If you go back a couple of years, it looked like Manchester City would be unbeaten for a long time to come, but Klopp and Liverpool have shattered that theory over the last couple of years,” Owen said.
“They could have been champions last season after getting 97 points and losing just one game throughout the season, but they have put that right this time and the way they have done it has been quite sensational. Klopp is already a legend for what he has done at Liverpool and he won’t stop here.
“I remember when Klopp arrived and there was a lot of excitement because it felt like a great fit from day one, but then there was a short period when he lost a few cup finals and things didn’t quite go according to plan and that was the time when he needed the backing of the club and the fans.
“That is when we saw the faith everyone associated with Liverpool had in Klopp. People outside the club were starting to question whether he could get them over the winning line and win the big trophies, but those questions never came from within.
“I do some work at Liverpool and the support and adoration Klopp commands from everyone at the club is unbreakable. If he says something, people will believe it and back him and that has been crucial to the success he has achieved.
“Liverpool have been outstanding in their transfer business, they have been building and building for a few years now and now this long wait for a league title at Liverpool has come to an end.
“I know for a fact that the club is a very happy place at all levels, the players love playing for Klopp and in a couple of years, City have gone from being unbeatable champions to wondering whether they can catch a Liverpool side that are head and shoulders ahead of everyone now.”
Owen smashed in 158 goals and claimed eighth place on Liverpool’s all-time scoring career, with FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup triumphs part of his story during his days in Liverpool red.
Now he believes Klopp’s Class of 2020 are destined to go down in Anfield folklore, with the 30-year wait for a domestic championship a millstone that needed to be removed.
“Winning the Premier League has been the holy grail for Liverpool for as long as any of us can remember,” he continued. “The team and the manager that ended this wait were always going to go down as Liverpool greats and the way this team has done it makes them even more special.
“Manchester City are probably one of the best clubs sides we have seen in this country and now another team has pulled ahead of them, so Liverpool deserve all the credit in the world for that.
“It’s a phenomenal team and it’s right up there with the great Manchester United sides, Chelsea under Jose Mourinho and Man City. It’s an unbelievable team.
“I know they went out of the Champions League this season, but I would say that Manchester City and Liverpool are the best two teams in European football right now and they will be the teams to beat for some time to come.
“For Liverpool to dominate the league in the way they have against this incredible City outfit makes their achievement all the more remarkable.”
Celebrations may have been muted as Liverpool’s triumph was confirmed in an empty stadium, yet Owen suspects there are several more chapters to come in a rivalry that sees two of the game’s great managers locking horns.
“We are lucky to be witnessing this battle between Klopp and Guardiola,” said Owen. “They are probably the two top managers in the game right now and any player would want to have a chance to work under them.
“Guardiola is tactically aware, he has a method of playing that is great to watch and is proven to win and Klopp is now confirming that he is a winner as well.
“If you ask me who I would rather play for, I’d probably just say Klopp because he seems to be a great man-manager and he strikes the tough balance of being friends with the players and being their boss perfectly.”
“Players are willing to run through a brick wall for Klopp and he has a great way of making everyone feel like they are an equal part of his team.
“The front three might get a lot of the headlines at Liverpool, but every part of that team helps to make it great and they will go down in history as one of the great teams we have seen in the Premier League.”
Legends have been created at Anfield over the last couple of years and one man in particular deserves all the credit in the opinion of Owen - Liverpool’s latest Premier League title-winning manager Jurgen Klopp.
* Michael Owen’s Reboot is available in all good book outlets.
It was early September last year and Roy Keane was in Dublin with Gary Neville for a gig at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, talking about their Manchester United glory years.