On this day four years ago, a smiling German with yellow teeth took to the Liverpool hot seat and proclaimed he was simply ‘the normal one’, hoping to bring the good times back to Anfield. With a glint in his eye he proclaimed:
If I sit here in four years, I am pretty confident we will have one title.
Fast forward to the present day and Liverpool fans are now living out their wildest fantasy. Klopp has transformed them from Premier League wannabes to European champions and now they sit top of the table having made the perfect start to the new league campaign.
After accumulating a massive 97 points last term and now having won a ridiculous 17 games in a row it seems inevitable that Klopp will get his hands on that all-important Premier League trophy and whisper it quietly, this could be their year.
The turnaround has been huge. Just three players remain from Klopp’s first matchday squad, (James Milner, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi) and almost every one of his signings have strengthened his side in some way. Jordan Henderson, although injured at the time of Klopp’s arrival, has emerged as a trustworthy captain who reflects Klopp’s passion on the pitch.
Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Andy Roberson have all been revelations in red and no Liverpool fans can be proud as their side is one of, if not the, finest football team in the world.
âDoubters, to Believers.â ð´
Nothing quite endears a manager to the fans quite like passion on the touchline, something that Klopp has in abundance. His personality perfectly reflects how the city of Liverpool feels about football and to see a man on the touchline care as much as the fans in the stands is something special.
His attacking, free-flowing football reflects him as a person and the connection between Klopp’s adopted home and the German manager is simply undeniable.
He just understands this club, the city and the fans and has hardly put a foot wrong in his four years in England.
Another reason Klopp is so relatable to Liverpool fans is his straight-talking manner seen in press-conferences or interviews. So often delivered with that cheeky grin on his face, we’ve compiled some of his best quotes.
(On Mario Gotze joining Bayern Munich)
“He’s leaving because he’s Guardiola’s favourite. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine. I can’t make myself shorter and learn Spanish.”
(After Liverpool’s League Cup final loss in 2016)
"You have to feel a defeat. You cannot say 'I don't care, it's not important'. You have to feel a defeat. You cannot say 'I don't care, it's not important.’”
(After he walked into a press conference with a Beatles t-shirt on)
"The best band in the world. My mother said it, my father said it: Number one - The Beatles."
(Two years after the Brexit vote)
"There was not one time in history where division creates success. So, for me, Brexit still makes no sense.”
(Following Liverpool’s 2019 Champions League triumph)
“Let’s talk about six, baby”
It is not just the Liverpool side that has changed from four years ago. Jurgen is now smiling more than ever, not just because of the results on the pitch, but also because he now has the brightest teeth in the country. Well, apart from Bobby Firmino perhaps.
The German gaffer explained: "It was not as like I saw Bobby Firmino's teeth and said: 'I want them.' I like them though when I have them in, they feel comfortable. Oh yeah, Firmino has world-class teeth but they are really, really, really white. It's brilliant.
"We never talk teeth together but we see each other every day so every time I see him smiling now I'm going to think yeah, proper dentist."
It may have cost him northwards of £10k but that is a small price to pay to see that beaming smile on his face every weekend.
Four years of Klopp have been an utter joy to watch. Here’s to the next four.