Footy Accumulators delve into Jurgen Klopp’s impact on Merseyside with former Liverpool coach Michael Beale
Jurgen Klopp finally proves himself at Liverpool in claiming the club's sixth European cup
The 2019 Champions League final concluded with Liverpool claiming their first piece of silverware since winning the League Cup in 2012, and Jurgen Klopp sealing his first major title since joining the club in 2015.
Securing the Champions League as official champions of Europe only emphasises the impact the former Borussia Dortmund manager has had, with the Reds looking like a completely different side to the one Brendan Rodgers controlled prior to his arrival.
Before Jurgen Klopp agreed to become Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers challenged for the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season, failing to meet similar heights in the two seasons which followed, resulting in his eventual dismissal.
Standing as an integral part of the Liverpool setup to bridge gap between both Brendan Rodgers’ and Jurgen Klopp’s time in Merseyside, Michael Beale saw the transformation from a team in decline to one worthy of challenging for every possible piece of silverware in club football.
As Liverpool Football Club truly hit a landmark in scooping a sixth European trophy with Jurgen Klopp at the helm, we spoke to Michael Beale over how he thinks the Reds reached such heights, and why both managers should be given credit for the part they played.
Michael Beale previously worked as a coach at Liverpool, leaving to become Sao Paolo assistant manager, before becoming first team manager under Steven Gerrard at Rangers.
Footy Accumulators speaks to former Liverpool coach Michael Beale
Q: What changes occurred through the arrival of Jurgen Klopp?
A: Liverpool had gone through some real highs under Brendan Rodgers, and they were so close to winning the Premier League. At the time, the team of [Steven] Gerrard, [Raheem] Sterling, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Luis] Suarez and [Daniel] Sturridge were playing some outstanding attacking football that was respected across England for their style of play.
It’s true that the departure of Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez affected the team. There was also the retirement of Jamie Carragher; the team lost so many big players in a short period of time.
The initial arrival of Jurgen Klopp brought so much excitement to the fans and showed the intention of the owners to really push forwards. He immediately set about implementing his style and has added to that extremely well in recruiting hungry, young players into the club.
If you look at the athleticism of the team, it has increased greatly in the time he has been at Liverpool. This shows he has a very clear idea of how he wants to play and what types of players – both physically and mentally - it takes to achieve this on a regular basis.
Q: Do Jurgen Klopp’s methods differ to what you’d previously seen at Liverpool?
A: I was at the club under two managers - Rodgers and Klopp. Both have excellent ideas on football, and both are very good coaches. As an academy coach, it was also very good for the young players, as both managers enjoyed having young players within the squad, and that meant that the pathway to train with the first team was open.
The ideas behind physical training were different and also the physical demands placed on players in training were higher. The team practiced a lot on collective organisation, and you could see this in the games. The team has become extremely organised in how they move around the pitch, how they press, and how effective they are at regaining the ball in good areas to attack.
These qualities that Liverpool possess make them an extremely difficult opponent for any team. In possession, they obviously have world class players. So, they play the complete game technically, tactically and physically whilst having a fantastic mentality, as shown as early as the Dortmund game in the Europa League, and obviously in the recent Barcelona game.
Q: How has the running of Liverpool Football Club impacted their success?
A: I think that Liverpool, along with Spurs, are fantastically run clubs from top to bottom - the best in the Premier League. The owners, manager, recruitment and academy are all run with the same ideas and mentality. Therefore, it’s great to see that these were the two teams competing in the Champions League Final.
I admire both coaches greatly for the way they manage players and the club’s profile. I think that both Klopp and Pochettino show the way for the next generation of coaches. It’s true to say that the final did not reach the unbelievable highs of the two semi-finals, but I think that it was always going to be hard to reach those levels. The early goal didn’t help the game either.
What Liverpool has now is a board, manager, fans and players all aligned and pulling together. Whenever a club has this, then it can only move forwards and progress. Jurgen Klopp deserves a huge amount of credit for his role in this, but also the same can be said for Michael Edwards, Mike Gordon and Fenway Sports Group (FSG) for giving Liverpool this stability. The biggest compliment for them is that the fans can really see the direction of the club and understands each decision that is being made.
Q: What does the future hold for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool after claiming a sixth European cup?
A: Overall, I’m just so happy that Liverpool won and that Jurgen Klopp got this first trophy with the club. I have a lot of friends at LFC and it was great to see them having this success as they deserve it. I also believe that the first one was important as it opens the pathway to more success each season.
I think it’s hard to recruit into this team as it’s extremely strong and also young. I don’t think there will be many changes as this team has a future together and will improve hugely from the confidence of winning the Champions League. It’s an exciting club at this moment.