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Six years of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool: The best (and worst) moments so far

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool
(Image credit: Getty Images)

That went fast. Six years have now passed since Jurgen Klopp officially became Liverpool manager on October 8, 2015, becoming the eighth man to fill the role in the Premier League era.

It has been a captivating six years under the German so far, with 197 wins, 70 draws, 61 losses, 671 goals scored, 333 conceded and four major honours to show for it.

But what have been the best and worst moments of Klopp’s unmissable time with the Reds so far?

Here, FourFourTwo brings you five of the highs and five of the lows from the past six years.

Best: Day one

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The excitement around Klopp’s arrival as manager in 2015 was palpable; after years as also-rans, showing potential but ultimately falling at the last - or, in Roy Hodgson’s case, the first - hurdle, Liverpool had secured a world-class appointment.

His aura dominated those early days, even before the deal became official, with footage of Sky Sports’ Gary Cotterill speaking to Klopp through his home intercom in Germany an iconic, and certainly questionable, moment of modern football coverage.

“Yes, from tomorrow on, I’m 24/7 a Liverpool man,” he replied, before ending the intrusion more politely than perhaps Cotterill deserved.

The following day, he stood resplendent on the pitch at Anfield, after holding a memorable press conference which paved the way for six years and counting of majesty on Merseyside.

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Worst: Losing two finals in four months

Klopp’s first campaign with Liverpool was certainly one of transition, building on the wreckage of Brendan Rodgers’ ill-timed end with debuts handed to nine players and an eighth-placed league finish that saw West Ham, Southampton and champions Leicester among those above them.

There were some real highs, though, with the Reds reaching the finals of both the League Cup and, more impressively, the Europa League.

Man City were penalty-shootout victors in the League Cup final, with Willy Caballero saving penalties from Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana after a hard-fought 1-1 draw.

Meanwhile, the road to the Europa League final included a dramatic comeback victory over Dortmund and a professional takedown of Man United, but unfortunately, Sevilla presided over a collapse in the decisive game in Basel - and the season ended in bittersweet fashion.

Best: Heavy-metal football

As one of the most soundbite-friendly managers in football, Klopp has been dogged by his unique way with words on a number of occasions throughout his time at Anfield - there is a roll of the eyes, for example, with every mention of ‘the Normal One’ these days.

But his comparison between his style of football and that of Arsene Wenger, from his tenure at Dortmund, certainly rang true as he made his mark early on at Liverpool.

“It’s like an orchestra, it’s a silent song,” he said of Wenger’s Arsenal. “I like heavy metal more!”

Think the 5-4 win at Norwich, the 4-3 against Dortmund at Anfield, the 4-0 win over Arsenal; it wasn’t always pretty, but those early years were definitely enjoyable!

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Worst: A 3-2 defeat to Southampton as the old guard fail

There have been a number of Sliding Doors moments in Klopp’s reign so far, with a horror show at St Mary’s in 2016 among the most decisive.

Liverpool were leading 2-0 after 22 minutes, with Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge both finding the back of the net, but Dejan Lovren endured a difficult afternoon against his old club, jeered from the stands and exposed on the pitch.

Klopp opted to replace him with Martin Skrtel at the break, with the long-serving Slovak making his first appearance after three months out; it proved to be a disastrous change, with a Sadio Mane brace either side of a Graziano Pelle strike sealing a 3-2 comeback win for Southampton.

Klopp’s first season proved to be Skrtel’s last with the club, with two others from that defeat - Joe Allen and Christian Benteke - also moved on by the next of the following campaign.

Best: Transformative signings

On the opposing team that day in Southampton was a certain Virgil van Dijk, with a deal agreed to bring the Dutchman to Anfield just under a year-and-a-half later.

Van Dijk was considered within the club as a ‘transformative’ signing, and the lure of working under Klopp has proved vital in convincing a number of these players to join Liverpool.

While Van Dijk and Alisson - paid for by the proceeds of Coutinho’s £142 million move to Barcelona - are widely seen as the poster boys for this shift in recruitment, there are countless others.

Mane, Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Thiago are among those, with Klopp’s star power making Liverpool a destination club once again.

Worst: The 4-1 loss at Wembley

Before the arrivals of Alisson and Van Dijk, however, came arguably Liverpool’s footballing nadir - a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley.

Harry Kane and Heung-min Son had twice exploited a hapless duo of Lovren and Simon Mignolet to put Spurs 2-0 up after 12 minutes, with the Croatian centre-back hauled off on the half-hour mark after Salah’s deficit-reducer.

Dele Alli scored another before the break and Kane clinched it soon after the restart, with Klopp describing it as a “really average day” - in what is perhaps the understatement of his six years so far.

Best: Barcelona, obviously

In a recent interview with This Is Anfield, Klopp unsurprisingly chose the 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona at Anfield - on the way to the 2019 Champions League final - as the one game he wished he could relive.

“I just don’t think anybody will see that again,” he said. “It was so rare, so special, the situation was so crazy difficult and the boys made it happen.”

How could a Liverpool side, missing Salah and Roberto Firmino, and already down 3-0 from the first leg, overcome a Barcelona lineup including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique, with Fabinho on a yellow card after 11 minutes?

Through sheer belief and willpower - the cornerstones of Klopp’s success.

"So that’s the game I would wish to see again,” Klopp added. Same Jurgen, same.

Worst: A ridiculous defensive crisis

No Van Dijk? No Joe Gomez? No Joel Matip? No problem?

Perhaps not, with Klopp no doubt seeing Liverpool’s 2020/21 title defence as one of the most challenging seasons of his career, through no fault of his own.

The decision not to replace Lovren, sold three months before Van Dijk’s season-ending ACL injury, was suspect, but to lose all three senior centre-backs for the long term was unforeseeable and unprecedented.

It is both one of the worst moments of Klopp’s time at Liverpool and, given the comeback - led by the unlikely duo of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams to finish third against all odds - perhaps also one of the best.

Best: The silverware

This list could have been dominated by each trophy win, but Klopp’s reign has been more than just silverware.

However, a Premier League title, a sixth European Cup, a first-ever Club World Cup and a cherry-on-top UEFA Super Cup are undeniable proof that the charismatic German is one of the best managers in world football.

Only four managers have won more trophies for Liverpool; only three of those have done so while winning the top-flight; and only one of those has done so while bringing home the European Cup.

Those three men are Kenny Dalglish, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley - and as incredible as it may sound given their lineage, Klopp deserves to be ranked alongside those bona fide legends.

Worst: That expiry date…

June 30, 2024. It is the day Liverpool fans will dread over the next three years.

As it stands, Klopp will leave Anfield at the end of his contract, with the manager planning to take a sabbatical after a nine-year spell on Merseyside.

There have been no hints that he could extend his stay - and in fact, his comments on speeding up the Anfield Road End expansion so he can enjoy crowds of over 60,000 only reaffirm his stance.

It will be a monumental change for Liverpool if Klopp does indeed step down. Just stay forever, Jurgen?

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