Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp returned to Europa League to face Austrian side LASK in a competition in which the Premier League club’s last appearance was in the 2016 final. The 2016 summit clash had not turned out to be quite memorable for Klopp as in his first season in charge of Liverpool the Merseyside-based side had to face a defeat to Sevilla. But a lot has changed since then. Liverpool, under Klopp’s coaching, have won the Champions League, reached the finals of the competition on two more occasions, while also claiming the Premier League, FA Cup, Club World Cup and the Carabao Cup as well. Last night, Klopp set another record as he became the first Liverpool manager to win 50 matches in European football across all competitions.
Klopp broke the tie for most European wins with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez who emerged victorious 49 times between 2004 and 2010. There is absolutely no doubt about Klopp’s success as a manager. But is he the best-ever Liverpool manager? Well, the numbers do not belie.
Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager midway through the 2015-16 season. In his first season in charge at Anfield, the German guided Liverpool to an eighth-placed finish in the domestic league. Since the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, the Reds have not finished outside the competition’s top four. That streak, however, was broken last time as Liverpool finished their Premier League journey at the fifth spot.
Liverpool have kept on improving every season since Klopp took charge of the club. According to a BBC report, Liverpool, under Klopp’s guidance, experienced a stellar win percentage which kept on rising from 44.2 per cent in 2015-16 to 71.9 per cent in 2019-20. The report went on to suggest that in October 2020, only Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was averaging more points per game in the Premier League than Klopp since 1992-93.
Earlier this year in January, Klopp managed his 1,000th game in a managerial career, which has spanned over 23 seasons at three different clubs, when Liverpool took on Chelsea. A report published by The Athletic suggests that the 56-year-old’s most successful seasons have appeared at Liverpool.
A sense of belief and consistency, coupled with some crucial signings, have been some of the key reasons behind Jurgen Klopp’s incredible success at Liverpool. Europa League currently remains to be the only major title which Klopp has not managed to claim yet during his eight-year illustrious stint at Liverpool.
Klopp’s men started their Europa League campaign with a convincing 1-3 win against LASK last night and needless to say, the German manager will certainly leave no stone unturned to bag this missing piece of silverware this time.