This week’s posts selected by Chris Rowland and Daniel Rhodes.
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1 – El Indio finds comparisons with Klopp in The Iliad!:
In the Greek epic of The Iliad there was one person who showed considerable intelligence and understanding of the situation than anyone else.
A lot, in the modern world, is written about two, Agamemnon and Achilles, yet both of them die upon their return to home.
Victorious Agamemnon gets betrayed by his partner out of lust while Achilles dies a hero amidst bravery. One dies on return, the other returns as a body.
But neither was more influential than Odysseus who exhibits diplomacy and even man-management to unite different banners of Greek leadership towards inevitable sacking of Troy.
The Romans, understandably, called him the cruel or deceitful Ulysses (Odysseus is derived from Greek, while Ulysses is derived from Latin) because they couldn’t stand his smarts and the humiliation he caused to their lineage when Troy was sacked (For reference Prince Aeneas, who survives the Trojan War and sacking of the city, was thought to be an ancestor of Remus and Romulus – founders of modern Rome).
However Odysseus does lose his way (Ten years is a considerable time trying to get home after fighting a war for ten years before it) as he intends to return home leading to an epic of his own. His travels and encounters with different people/Gods/monster/other beings highlights his ability to find the solution for himself and his men regardless seemingly worse odds for survival.
So what does it have to do with Klopp? By no means Jürgen Klopp is Odysseus reincarnate (or even his great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandchild) in the modern world but somehow his abilities and skill set doesn’t differ much.
A lot of people take Klopp’s IQ/EQ for granted since they either see a self deprecating happy character who doesn’t mind dropping an F-bomb on live TV or an emotionally charged angry crackpot on the touchline.
Behind those glasses is a man who is exceptionally smart, understands the cause of things and reads the situation very well. He is also a leader in uniting different factions. Either through his written words, sideline actions, spoken words on media or through his football.
He also brings about harmony to an institution that, despite it’s rich history, has had it’s share of madness on and off the pitch. It’s not the harmony of an orchestra, it’s more like melodic death metal which doesn’t have guitar thrashing at the end. It’s not perfect yet as there is still more fine tuning of instruments required but blimey some of the days it’s just 11 out 10 stage performance.
We have to admit, Liverpool Football Club does rule a bit of our lives. Values, honor, respect (even opponents), tradition and finally YNWA – they all unite us across the world. We look forward to match days so as to drive away our daily struggles or fear of impending doom.
The 90 minutes matter.
It is worth revisiting that he had stated in his first interview of that it is his job to ‘entertain’ us. To make our lives better.
Today was one of those days.
Just like Odysseus, I hope the cunning Klopp (and Co.) will help us return to the promised land.
And I doubt it will take him 10 years.
(Note: Great article as usual, Paul. It just helped me link Odysseus with Klopp on skill set and human ability)
2 – OT on the absurdity of some of Liverpool’s/FSG’s critics on Twitter:
having just sold their best player, a midfielder, for peanuts… OK. a lot of peanuts, but still …
and missing their captain, another midfielder, due to injury…
and missing (at least from the starting lineup) another first eleven midfielder who is not up to speed yet. .. due to injury …
and missing their world record signing center-back due to injury …
and missing their first choice left back so far season due to injury …
and missing their first choice right back from last season due to injury …
just thoroughly outplayed the only undefeated side in the Premiership (who still leads the league by 15 points).
LFC – having only lost twice in all competitions this year, tied for 2nd place on points in the premiership (having already played both City and Arsenal twice) and into the final 16 of the champions league with what looks like very winnable draw – is now also unbeaten in its last 18 games in all competitions and the form team in the league.
… and on twitter, its all still a clusterfuck :). FSGOUT
3 – Joe Bloggs with a little reminder of where LFC are now:
Just a little comment, but isn’t it a nice feeling that one of our main concerns now is that the majority of our targets are Cup-tied in the CL?
From a few years ago where we’d be picking up interesting talents here and there from clubs not even in Europa, and wondering whether they’d slot in, to nabbing players the best teams in the world are/were interested in purchasing. It’s strange how this transition has been so fast, and yet so few people are really taking a step back and seeing the difference, still finding a way to focus on complaining about selling Coutinho. Even before selling Coutinho we finalised deals for Keita (seemingly wanted actively by Barcelona, and the rest of the known world), VVD (wanted by Guardiola and potentially the best team to ever win the PL), Salah (God knows why he seemingly was not worth a punt for most clubs, but their loss!). You can even throw Ox in there, who we nabbed from under last year’s champions noses!
I love how we’re doing a blend still of classic Klopp with the Robertson and Matip buys, improving the team for almost no outlay, leaving us with the liquidity to bring in totally proven, top top players, and some of the best young talent in the world. It’s just madness how this isn’t the overbearing narrative throughout this window. Wake up and smell the roses, LFC fans!
4 – Mattcwell on the money spent after Suarez left:
Lallana, Lovren, Can, Moreno, Origi – all players that were bought with the Suarez money. That to me is hardly ‘wasting’ the money. Yes, there were others that didn’t pan out, most notably Balotelli, which I think clouds the entire issue, but I reject the notion that the Suarez money was wasted.
You also have to view it in the context of where the club was at the time we sold Suarez. We had just earned CL for the first time in a few years, and had a very, very thin squad. The only chance we had to survive the following season with the number of games we were playing was to add a number of players with the funds available, and I actually believe the club didn’t don’t do too badly on that front.
5. Cvt123 on selling clubs and victims:
I think there are two types of ‘selling clubs’. Those who accept they will be selling players and others who are ‘victims’.
I think Man Utd are a great example of a ‘selling club’ that had plans in place to deal with selling players. One thing I admired (yes!) about Ferguson is that he could reinvent his team over and over again. It meant that when a player had to or wanted to go, the club would have contingency plans in place – either in the youth set-up or buy someone. If necessary, he would change the system. Regardless, they were not taken off guard and just saw it part of the system.
Then there are other clubs who just don’t want to accept the reality that their stars want to go. They build their team around a key player on the assumption he doesn’t want to leave. Look at Tottenham with Bale, etc. etc. So when they leave, they either try to buy like for like (and usually fail) or plug gaps, but often in a haphazard sort of way.
I think in the last few years, we have successfully transitioned from the second to the first. If I look back to Steven Gerrard, we should have sold him in 2011/12/13 period. Yes, I will sound like a heretic, but in the end, we held onto him for too long. Yes, he played superbly for us, but he melted on us. And we didn’t know how to deal with it. The departure of Suarez was another one – we just didn’t know what to do when he left. However, we have now a manager who accepts that the team will change. He seems to have plan b, plan c, and plan d if any player was to leave. He will adapt his approach if necessary. And given he does this, he can give the guidance to the scouting team to find replacements that will either fill in gaps (or changes in systems) OR have already bought youth to fill in gaps.
I would not be surprised if Klopp started planning Coutinho’s departure from 18, if not 24, months ago. Likewise, I am sure he already has plans if any of his team goes. This type of leadership and approach is what is needed to make sure that no player is ‘bigger than the club’. Want to leave? Fine – we don’t need you anyway.
Now – if Klopp can impart this approach to management to Steven Gerrard (or whoever). Well, then we have the Boot Room back.
Articles published on The Tomkins Times this week:
Sunday January 14th:
Post-Match Analysis: Manchester City (H), by Daniel Rhodes.
Tuesday January 16th:
More Proof That Liverpool Can Win The Major Trophies Under Klopp, by Paul Tomkins.
Wednesday January 17th:
Rounding-Up Liverpool’s Post-Match Radar: Week 22, by Andrew Beasley.
Thursday January 18th:
Liverpool are a selling club, here’s why By Paul Tomkins
Friday January 19th:
Scouting Potential Transfer Targets: Thomas Lemar and Malcom by Daniel Rhodes