HALF TIME IN 2015-2016
Liverpool have come to the halfway point of the season now. With more than 19 of the 38 Premier League fixtures played and significant progression in other competitions, the Reds are now ready for the second half of this season.
This season officially started in August, of course. Brendan Rodgers was still manager of Liverpool until early October. Rodgers was not showing any significant signs of improvement and it’s reported that our owners were actively looking for a new manager from as early as September or perhaps even the start of the [2015-2016] season, some sources say. He’d outstayed his welcome from the moment he’d decided Steven Gerrard was not to be given a new contract, really. Instead of honouring our loyal captain who had been a part of Liverpool FC since he was around 8 years old, Rodgers acted like there was nothing that he wanted from Gerrard and that he was of no value to our club any more. At the end of last season, Gerrard had been in a position where he had to choose a new club away from his home and place of birth, Liverpool. He would eventually choose to transfer to a club that “would not be in direct competition with Liverpool FC” – Los Angeles Galaxy.
Rodgers had been quite insistent that no new contract should be offered to the man who had helped Liverpool win the club’s 5th European Cup ever as captain of the side that made dreams come true and miracles happen in the 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul.
Brendan Rodgers did not seem to respect Steven Gerrard enough and would force him out of the Liverpool squad.
Many fans who appreciated Stevie G’s longterm contribution to our club found Rodgers to be disrespectful of one of Liverpool’s greatest legends. It’s partly why Rodgers is not manager still. Fans will not tolerate managers who don’t plan on utilising some of our most prized assets. Our club’s most loyal players are not to just be forced out of the squad because you have no interest in preserving a club’s history and heritage. There will be consequences to actions like these and that’s proven by the fact we now have a new manager.
The Jürgen Klopp era at Liverpool (FC) began on October 8th, 2015. Even as other managers were in contention for the position vacated by Brendan Rodgers, I myself had been wishing that Klopp would be the man chosen for the job. His previous management records spoke for themselves, really. He had much success in several parts of Europe with his biggest achievements being achieved in Germany’s Bundesliga, for Borussia Dortmund. There were things other managers like Carlo Ancellotti and Harry Redknapp hadn’t done yet which Klopp had proven himself at already. He seemed to be a step above anybody else mentioned for the position.
What were these amazing achievements, you may wonder? Well, how about winning the German Bundesliga title not just once, but twice in two consecutive seasons?! Other teams like Bayern Munich, FC Schalke, Hamburg FC and Eintracht Frankfurt were all beaten to the chase for the title between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Around the same time in other competitions, Klopp was able to win (German) cups in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He also reached the 2013 Champions League Final with Borussia Dortmund, only to be defeated by Bayern Munich unfortunately. It was a close game, in which Dortmund had equalised less than ten minutes after Bayern Munich had scored their first goal. Later in the match, Munich would score a last minute goal which would bring the score to 2-1 and there was barely any time left for Klopp’s side to recover. It was still considered one of the best Final’s in Champion’s League history and Klopp had done wonderful just to have been part of the Final itself. Some managers have never ever been a part of a Champions League Final, even as a runner up. Even just getting there to play (or manage) in the Final is a great achievement in itself.
These things and more have been the reasons why Klopp was chosen over several other highly respected potential candidates for Liverpool.
Liverpool fans around the world already love and respect the man, as he’s brought in a new age of confidence and experimental football only seen perhaps at Klopp’s previous clubs. New strategies and styles of play have been incorporated and proven to be successful already.
One of the players seemingly affected most by Klopp’s arrival is Christian Benteke. The new manager has inspired the Belgian to go out and score 7 goals for Liverpool as the desire to impress Klopp looks like decent motivation. In a time when already proven strikers like Daniel Sturridge were unfortunately injured and unable to be chosen, Benteke stepped up to become an adequate replacement for Klopp to rely on.
Anfield Family has awarded “Man Of the Match” to Christian Benteke no less than 6 times this season, the highest record in 2015-2016 for any player who would be aspiring to be the best player on the pitch in any fixture for Liverpool.
Liverpool still are part of the League Cup (reaching the Semi Finals already), Europa League (reaching the knockout rounds of that competition) and FA Cup (our 3rd round fixture to be played in the near future) as we continue to show great progress in all we’re a part of. Some fans may be a little disheartened that we’re not sitting at the top of the Premier League table by now, but we’ve really made up for a possible disappointment there by producing great results in other areas of our football. There’s room for improvement in the league certainly, but we really can’t complain about the cup competitions we’re still a part of and look likely to continue to make progress in.
Klopp has been a wonderful influence on our squad so far and despite some lows in addition to the highs we’ve experienced, nobody is perfect (and Jürgen humbly refers to himself as the “normal one”), with areas of improvement we can hope to target and achieve by the end of the season. I and many other Liverpool fans now look to the future and walk on with hope in our hearts as we continue to see what will happen in the much anticipated final half of our season.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.