Liverpool FC History - 2015 to 2019
After Brendan Rodgers' reign ended it was so very apparent that Liverpool's next choice to be manager needed to be a well established, top coach with a proven, successful background. But where do you find such a manager. They are, after all, quite thin on the ground. Some interesting names were offered forward - for example, that well known, successful and hugely respected manager, Carlo Ancellotti. That was the calibre Liverpool were aiming for.
Fortunately, in that esteemed category was another successful manager with a fantastic track record. And, very importantly, he was available. Well, available in terms of him not being with a club, but he was on a sabbatical. Who was he? Step forward the enigmatic, charasmatic german, Jurgen Klopp. Klopp's record at his previous club, Borussia Dortmund was exceptional when you consider what he was up against in the form of Bayern Munich. He took over Dortmund in 2008 and left at the end of the 2014/15 season.
In the seven seasons he was in charge, Klopp guided Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles. They were also runners up twice. They won two German Cup Finals and were also runners up twice. In 2012/13, they came so close to beating arch rivals Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final but ultimately ended up as 2-1 losers.
It is without doubt Klopp had the pedigree and the stature to become Liverpool's next manager. But would he come? The answer to that came on 8th October 2015 when Klopp was appointed as Brendan Rodgers' successor. In his first interview as Liverpool manager he referred to himself as the "Normal One". Clearly a humorous jibe at the self appointed, "Special One" - Jose Mourinho.
It was clear that Liverpool needed another rebuild. As the 2015/16 season had already started, Klopp's first real big test was to be the 2016/17 season. Although he did guide Liverpool to two Cup Finals in 2015/16. Losing both however, 2-1 to Manchester City in the League Cup Final and 3-1 to Sevilla in the Europa League Cup Final.
The 2016/17 season saw a huge improvement in Liverpool's League form as they ultimately qualified for the 2017/18 Champions League qualifying round by finishing 4th in the Premier League. The qualifying game against Hoffenheim was successfully negotiated on a 5-3 aggregate score, thereby placing Liverpool in the Champions League Group stages.
The last two seasons is where things have really got interesting. In season 2017/18 we saw Liverpool taking even more shape and carrying more and more hallmarks of a Jurgen Klopp assembled side. The goals flowed, as did the excitement. Highlights of the season? There were many. Manchester City well beaten in the quarter-finals of the Champions League was an incredible feature.
As was beating Roma 5-2 in the first leg of the semi-final at Anfield. As great as the win was it was somewhat overshadowed in some respects by the mindless violence inflicted on Liverpool fan, Sean Cox by mindless Roma fans. Now well on the mend, Sean will no doubt be enjoying the season just ended - 2018/19.
But before we get onto 2018/19, let's not forget that we did reach the Champions League Final in 2017/18. It wasn't to be on the night against the might of Real Madrid as we lost 3-1.
2018/19 - Let's Talk About 6 Baby
One year later and now having the thirst for another Champions League Final, we reached the Final after an incredible semi-final comeback against Barcelona. Not many gave us a chance after we lost 3-0 in the first leg at the Camp Nou. But that doesn't do justice to the fighting spirit and determination of this now full-throttled, Klopp inspired Liverpool.
We hammered Barcelona (Messi, Suarez, Coutinho et al) 4-0 to reach our 9th European Cup Final. Waiting for us in the Final were Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. Having already beaten Spurs twice in the league campaign, Liverpool started as favourites. A dull game was of little significance as we ran out 2-0 winners to record our 6th European Cup (aka Champions League) triumph.
As Jurgen Klopp cheekily mentioned in one of the many post match interviews after being reminded of his previous failures, "Let's Talk About Six Baby" - a spin on the popular "Let's Talk About Sex Baby" song. Ho long will it be before The Kop adapt that and belt out a new version of that song.
Another brilliant European night and possibly a springboard for even more better days to come.
Don't let's forget either the league campaign. An amazing total of 97 points amassed would normally be more than enough to easily win the Premier League. But, up against Abu Dhabi backed Manchester City, we fell one point short. One league defeat all season and 97 points is amazing. However, it was not to be. What a season. What a squad and what a management team and owners.
We go again next season. Watch this space.
Coming Soon - This page will soon be updated and expanded to include the 2019/20 season (or I may even have a separate page for 2019 onwards for now - we'll see). Hopefully with Covid-19 restrictions being eased soon, it is hoped that when play resumes we will be able to claim title number 19. A maximum of 6 points required from 9 games at the same of this update, we all hope that we will soon be celebrating. Albeit in our own private way as games are to be played behind closed doors until further notice.
So even though the Fields Of Anfield Road will not be reverberating to the sounds of the celebrations, we will still be able to raise our own glass in celebration in our own homes. Fingers crossed.