So the big news of late in Liverpool circles aside from the win over Tranmere Rovers is that new Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has signed a new, long-term contract with the club. Now, this is a strange one for Liverpool fans because, 1) this could signify continuity or 2) most fans were under the impression that Klopp was at the club on a “wait and see” basis. Some critics such as ESPN FC’s Tony Evans has questioned whether signing Klopp long term was a good idea stating “FSG would do better to invest in creating an environment where the manager can thrive rather than hiking up his salary before there is any real evidence Klopp has turned things around.”
Now if you read the link (the second underlined phrase) of that ESPN article, Evans makes some sense in what he is saying. Not long ago, rumors were abound that FSG wanted to sell the club to someone else – everyone from an Arab sheikh to a Chinese billionaire was named – and this made me feel very uneasy. When FSG bought the club, it was my understanding that they were in for the long haul, but again as they say, “business is business”.
Back to the matter at hand, Liverpool could do worse than Klopp as a manager. However, with Mourinho at United, Koeman at Everton and Pep at City, the stakes are going to be much higher than it was last season. United have already spent big and bought Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan (who, ironically, Liverpool were supposed to buy two seasons ago). Guardiola will invest in his own players and Koeman will be a big upgrade for Everton compared to Roberto Martinez. Now Liverpool, despite having bought 4 players already have yet to fill the important gaps – for example a better Left Back because I will faint if I see Alberto Moreno in that slot.
While Jurgen Klopp has given us an exceeded expectation of a season – I was not expecting us to reach 2 finals, let alone in the Europa League, Liverpool have a long way to go now and if he doesn’t deliver, will FSG keep him or do what they did to Brendan Rodgers? The lack of continuity has been unsettling and it’s down to FSG to allow Klopp to work his magic and giving him 100% backing. The long contract is a step towards that, but there are things like transfers and giving the manager room to manage that need to be looked at as well.
So, while I am happy the manager has committed to the club, I am wary that it will all go to his head and he will lose sight of what is important to the club. He has been saying all the right things so far, but this season will be his true test. And I for one, will be there, watching.