Should Liverpool part company with Jurgen Klopp if he fails to clinch the Champions League?

Three years and seven months have passed since Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager

When Jurgen Klopp first stepped foot in Melwood Training Ground, he came in as a breath of fresh air to fans of Liverpool Football Club. Full of energy and excitement, the former Borussia Dortmund manager sat in front of the press, spewing enough bold statements about his ambition that there was no doubting his quality as one of the world's most promising managers.

Dressed in an all-black suit, Jurgen Klopp was the world class manager that Liverpool yearned for, and he made promises that would eventually hold him accountable for far more than the mere task of 'improving' a side that were faltering in every possible field. The Reds were only able to win four of eleven games before relieving Brendan Rodgers of his duties, and matters had reached such a low that the acquisition of a high profile manager to the level of Jurgen Klopp came as a pleasant surprise.

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp won the Bundesliga twice with Borussia Dortmund, defying the odds after Bayern Munich constantly dominated German football.

"Please give us the time to work on it", Klopp said as he begged the press to judge him after a handful of seasons in charge. His next statement was even more pressing, as he ambitiously set a timescale over when his methods would take effect. He said: "When I sit here in four years, I think we want [to win] one title. I'm pretty sure [we will]. If not - maybe [I will go to] Switzerland."

Joking over the backup plan of leaving to manage in Switzerland if he couldn't reach the sky-high expectations of Liverpool Football Club was a way of softening the majesty of his proposal, but there's no bowing out of his promise, and with those four years running out in five months, the Champions League is his chance to clinch the biggest prize in club football, proving all doubters wrong in the process.

Could Liverpool seriously sack Jurgen Klopp after four cup final appearances and successive top four finishes?

Similarly with Maurizio Sarri's current situation at Chelsea, Liverpool could relieve Jurgen Klopp of his duties despite being successful on paper. That analogy must be taken with a pinch of salt due to Liverpool's far more exciting playing style under Klopp compared to how Chelsea have played under Sarri, but there's a case for either manager being more successful, as it's only taken Sarri one season to win the Europa League, while Klopp is still without silverware after four years at Liverpool.

Opposing fans of Liverpool have started regularly berating Jurgen Klopp for the way in which he stubbornly avoids any negativity around his own team's performances, as well as how he evades serious criticism over his lack of silverware since leaving Borussia Dortmund in 2015. Landing a trophy - however big or small - would make all the difference and finally clear his name, but it's not to say he's done absolutely nothing during his time at Anfield.

Arriving at a Liverpool team who were stuck at tenth, he could only get them to eighth by the end of the season, doing all he could with an extremely disappointing squad of players. His methods took until the summer, where he was able to ship off Jose Enrique, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel, Joe Allen, Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli amongst many unimpressive squad members. In the meantime, he pushed Liverpool to a place in both the Europa League final and the League Cup final, which was head and shoulders above where Brendan Rodgers would have got them if he'd stayed.

Pep Guardiola Manchester City Jurgen Klopp Liverpool
Pep Guardiola has become the bane of Jurgen Klopp, reforming Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and now beating Liverpool to the title by just three points with Manchester City.

An estimated £76.5 million was made in players sold that summer, spending an estimated £61.9 million on Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Alex Manninger in their place. Three of those players maintain a key role at Liverpool, and finishing fourth in the Premier League saw a more capable performance from the Reds, and the following term presented consistency in once again finishing fourth, as well as even more incredibly reaching the Champions League final.

Both the Champions League final appearance and Mohamed Salah's opening season for Liverpool were seen as flukes, but those claims have gone quiet as Liverpool reached a second successive Champions League final appearance, and as Mohamed Salah claimed the Premier League Golden Boot yet again. Jurgen Klopp got an eighth place team to finish second on ninety-seven points in a season that would have seen them win the league if it wasn't for an absolutely unbeatable Manchester City team - the only team who defeated the Reds in the league.

The improvement is undeniable, but the frustration Jurgen Klopp must hold in private through being up against a comparatively superior Pep Guardiola must be enough to prompt sleepless nights.

Jurgen Klopp has appeased everyone involved with Liverpool, assuring job security into future years

Whatever your view of Jurgen Klopp, it's impossible to dispute the transformation during his time at the club. He's swapped Simon Mignolet for Alisson Becker as goalkeeper, replaced a defence of Jon Flanagan, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Alberto Moreno for one of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson, swapped a midfield of Adam Lallana, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen for one of Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Naby Keita, and traded an attack of Christian Benteke, Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge for one of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

A case can't even be made for apparent overspending, as the club have been perfectly astute with their use of finances, selling Philippe Coutinho for over £100 million to fund the transfer of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri. Teams like Manchester United have also been known to spend a lot of incoming players, only for it to make matters worse, so it's important to credit Klopp for how he's assembled his lineup.

Most - if not all - predictions for the Champions League final expect Liverpool to win convincingly. This year sees far more pressure than last year's appearance, as they'll be going in as favourites who fell at the last hurdle against a team they regularly face in England, after being underdogs against a team who were within a trend of consistently landing the Champions League last time around.

Virgil van Dijk Georginio Wijnaldum Jordan Henderson Jurgen Klopp Joe Gomez Liverpool
The squad Jurgen Klopp has built at Liverpool is lauded throughout Europe. Fans of the club assume that this will guarantee future silverware.

The way in which Jurgen Klopp has not only improved Liverpool as a team but also embraced the culture of the city and its people has left fans of the club in awe of the German. He lives and breathes exactly what any football fan would want, pushing the playing style that everyone would ideally want to see, and often presenting himself as a likeable character bar the odd outburst along the way.

Based on his opening four years at the club and the number of appearances in European cup finals, there's no way that any Liverpool fan would sensibly want Jurgen Klopp to be sacked even if they somehow manage to lose to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening.

Only missing out on a first Premier League title since 1989 by just one point and making it to the Champions League final over successive seasons is a sign of ambition and the sort of statement you'd expect from a world class manager; it's hard to see any man doing any better with Liverpool in the current climate, unless if Pep Guardiola feels like swapping Manchester for Merseyside any time soon.


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