‘Dream is on for Germany fans – but they must wait for Klopp’

27 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

By Constantin EcknerGerman football writer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says ‘it’s the right decision’ to step down at end of season

Jurgen Klopp’s announcement on Friday took many in Germany by surprise.

While there had been suspicions that the 56-year-old could call it a day at Anfield sooner rather than later, it was not expected to happen in the middle of a season in which Liverpool are leading the Premier League and appear to be as strong as ever.

When Klopp decided to leave Borussia Dortmund in 2015, he was experiencing an underwhelming campaign that, at one point, saw his team fall to second-from-bottom in the Bundesliga standings.

The circumstances this time are very different, and football fans and journalists in his home country have compassion for his wellbeing.

For the past several years, Germans have wondered if there was any chance that Klopp could return home and either manage one of the major clubs in the Bundesliga or the national team.

Rumours ramped up last September when the German football association chose to sack Hansi Flick less than a year before the Euros.

At the time, the DFB contacted Klopp to ask him about his availability, knowing that the likelihood of a mid-season move from Liverpool to the national team was below 1%. Eventually, Julian Nagelsmann, the former Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig coach, took the job, but only signed a contract until the end of the Euros.

Only three months without a job since 1990

Jurgen Klopp won two Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund between 2010 and 2012, and led the Black and Yellows to the 2013 Champions League finalJurgen Klopp won two Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund between 2010 and 2012, and led the Black and Yellows to the 2013 Champions League final

With Klopp having announced his departure, rumours and speculation have ramped up once again, as many fans in Germany hope he would be intrigued by the national team job.

Klopp was asked on Friday whether he would ever work as a manager again. He said: “I would say now no. But I don’t know obviously how that will feel because I never had the situation. What I know definitely – I will never, ever manage a different club in England than Liverpool.”

The newspapers in Germany are already asking if his next job will be manager of the German national side – even though most people accept they will have to be very patient.

It is the dream for German fans for Klopp to be their manager one day.

The timeline for the 2026 World Cup looks complicated because the national team needs to install a new manager in August following Nagelsmann’s planned departure.

Since Klopp has announced he won’t coach a team during the 2024-25 season, the German football association would need to find a caretaker manager, which is somewhat unusual at international level. More realistically, Klopp might step in after the World Cup.

Many in Germany, from fans to journalists to Klopp’s former educators at the football association, have been calling for the 56-year-old to take over the national team at some point.

While his high-energy personality does not suit the job perfectly, even Klopp will slow down as he becomes older and he could appreciate the lesser demanding schedule.

The current Germany team might have a shortage of talent In some positions, but there are enough players such as Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz and Leroy Sane who would fit Klopp’s tactical system.

It would also pose a new challenge for the accomplished manager because, as opposed to Liverpool where he has been able to revamp the squad by buying the likes of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, he would need to work with the players available.

When Klopp left Dortmund in the summer of 2015, he was out of a job for only a little while before he replaced Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool and started what has become one of the most memorable eras in the club’s history. Come June, the 56-year-old German will go into untested waters.

It needs to be understood that ever since Klopp started playing professionally for Mainz in the Bundesliga II in 1990, he has only spent three months unemployed. He became a manager overnight and then moved from Mainz to Dortmund to Liverpool without much of a break.

It is understandable that with the feeling of being burnt out, Klopp is thinking about retiring for good, but a more realistic scenario might be that he takes a lengthy break to recharge his batteries, think about his future and then come back on to the stage.

“No club, no country for the next year. No other English club ever. Even if I have nothing to eat, it will not happen,” he said at a news conference on Friday.

Even if Klopp has given the impression that he does not feel entitled to anything, he knows about his market value and is aware of the fact that even after a one-year sabbatical, he will be one of the most sought-after managers in Europe.

Alonso would be allowed to leave Leverkusen

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi AlonsoFormer Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is currently managing Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen

Someone else who fits that category is Xabi Alonso, which brings us to the other side of yesterday’s announcement. As Klopp will be leaving Anfield this summer, Liverpool are tasked with finding someone who can take over the managerial post without being completely in Klopp’s shadow.

Alonso, who played for the Reds for five years and is considered one of Liverpool’s all-time greats, has done a commendable job at Bayer Leverkusen.

He took over the German side when they were 17th in the Bundesliga in autumn 2022 and has overseen a remarkable turnaround, to the point that they remain unbeaten this season and are currently leading the league by four points from Bayern Munich.

While Alonso extended his contract with Leverkusen last year until 2026 and there is no release clause, the club and the Basque manager have a verbal agreement that Alonso would be allowed to leave if he has the chance and intends to go to a big club, especially one he has history with.

Alonso himself remained non-committal when asked about Klopp and the opening at Liverpool, saying, “I’m enjoying my work here.”

Leverkusen officials were almost certain a while ago that Alonso would stay for another year, but the landscape drastically changed on Friday.

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