The Manager as Messiah: Jurgen Klopp's Mission for Liverpool

By Wilson, Jonathan | New Statesman (1996), May 25, 2018 | Go to article overview

The Manager as Messiah: Jurgen Klopp's Mission for Liverpool


Wilson, Jonathan, New Statesman (1996)


It was Bill Shankly who popularised the image of football manager as messiah. At Liverpool he wasn't just the secretary who sorted out hotels and acted as a conduit between the board and the coaching staff, nor was he the drill sergeant bawling his players to greater effort. He was rather a benign dictator, canny, tough and charismatic, and his job was not merely to pick the team, but to rally support behind the club.

Shankly set the mould for the British manager. Jock Stein, Matt Busby and Don Revie might argue they were doing much the same, just in a less eye-catching way, but after him came the likes of Brian Clough, Malcolm Allison and Tommy Docherty, larger-than-life figures whose greatest gift was their capacity to inspire.

After Shankly had retired, Liverpool went on to even greater successes under Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and a great player of the Paisley era, Kenny Dalglish. But since the club lost its way in the Nineties, struggling with the ramifications of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 and slow to react to the new financial realities of the Premier League, there has been a yearning on Merseyside for another Shankly figure. The rest of the world may have turned to technocrats and data analysts but Liverpool wanted another messiah to re-establish them at the summit of the English and European game. Finally, in Jurgen Klopp, they may have found him.

Like Shankly, who grew up in a mining community in Ayrshire, Klopp is of staunchly working-class origin. His father Norbert, who had been a promising enough player to have a trial at Kaiserslautern, was a travelling salesman for a wall fixings company, living in Stuttgart. Norbert had already had two daughters, but Klopp was the son he had always wanted, and he was determined to turn him into the footballer he felt he should have been.

To say he was demanding would be an understatement: Klopp remembers watching his father's red anorak disappearing into the distance as he learned to ski, and endless tennis matches in which he would lose 6-0,6-0. "Do you think this is fun for me?" he would shout, to which his father would reply, "Do you think this is fun for me?"

Brutal his love may have been, but it instilled in Klopp a resilience. He became a player, supporting himself by working in a video shop and loading lorries before he was offered a professional contract at Mainz in 1989, by which time he was 22. He started out as a committed but technically limited centre-forward and became a committed but technically limited central defender. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Manager as Messiah: Jurgen Klopp's Mission for Liverpool
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.