With Jurgen Klopp agreeing a three year deal to become the new manager of Liverpool, much will be expected of the charismatic German as he seeks to emulate his two Bundesliga triumphs with Borussia Dortmund by attempting to win the Premier League title for the Merseyside team. Previous incumbent Brendan Rodgers was sacked from the post on Sunday evening following a faltering start to the season but he nearly clinched the title for the club in 2014 when denied in the final days of the season after leading the table for much of the campaign.
Although Rodgers never lost a Merseyside derby against Everton, that fateful end to the 2013-14 campaign, when losing 2-0 at home to Chelsea and then drawing 3-3 at Crystal Palace, was perhaps the beginning of the end for the Rodgers reign at Anfield. While he had nurtured Luis Suarez into becoming arguably the most exciting striker in the Premier League alongside Daniel Sturridge and young Raheem Sterling in a prolific attacking partnership, the antics of the Uruguayan striker during the World Cup signalled the beginning of a rebuilding process at Liverpool.
Suarez was sold to Barcelona while Sturridge subsequently suffered a series of injuries whereas Sterling eventually moved to Manchester City in another high-profile transfer deal. To deal with the proceeds of all outgoing transfers, a transfer committee was created by owners Fenway Sports Group and has overseen several incoming transfer deals at Anfield, several of which can be described as overpriced while other players have yet to justify their extravagant fees.
To what degree Rodgers had the final or any say in new players arriving at Liverpool is open to debate but he was the public face of the club as opposed to the Chief Executive, Head of Recruitment, Chief Scout and Director of Technical Performance, who all feature on the committee but are rarely invited to account for their decisions.
It would have been hard to imagine legendary Liverpool managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley agreeing to such a structure as they generally dealt with purchases as and when required. The task for Jurgen Klopp will be to form a decent working relationship with the hierarchy at Liverpool while being allowed to hire his own trusted coaching staff.
The German will assess his current players and discover a method of play by which points can be earned and successful results achieved, but the real tests will arrive in January and June when transfer targets are identified and sought. Klopp will probably insist on being allowed the final decision for any incoming players as he is ultimately responsible for performances on the field.
Liverpool supporters will also hope that Klopp is allocated a free reign in player recruitment and although there may be some compromises with the transfer committee, the success of the German may ultimately be decided not only by results on the field but by his dealings with Anfield boardroom.
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