Premier League

“Ancelotti’s Backbone”: Liverpool Have Finally Got the Spine They Needed

In October 2015, legendary Italian manager, Carlo Ancelotti, interviewed for the vacant Liverpool job.  It is well documented that the club wanted either him or Jurgen Klopp at the time. The former AC Milan, Real Madrid, and Chelsea manager would go on in his interview to talk about how Liverpool needed at least three players to strengthen the spine of their team.

He wasn’t wrong, but the Italian ultimately failed to land the Liverpool job. By contrast, Klopp’s enthusiasm and talk of emphasising the development of the existing squad wooed the club’s directors, proving sufficient to land him the role. Slowly, but surely, the German has gone about strengthening his side in the same key areas identified by Ancelotti.

Klopp has his own men

The now confirmed signing of Alisson Becker from A.S Roma means that, finally, Klopp has his own men right the way through the spine of this Liverpool team. 

This window has been a fruitful one for Klopp, to say the very least. Fabinho, Kieta, Alisson and Shaqiri have all been recruited, and when you add in Virgil Van Dijk’s purchase in January, it’s fair to say that 2018 has been his busiest year thus far as Liverpool manager. Indeed, we wrote back in June that this was arguably Liverpool’s most important transfer window of the modern era. Klopp, it seems, recognised the significance of the moment, and has done what he can to assemble a squad capable of building on the achievements logged last term.

Now, all of these players have to come in and perform. Plenty of signings have come to Liverpool with lightening hot reputations, only to fail miserably on Merseyside. Klopp, however, is altogether different to his predecessors when it comes to signings.

Klopp’s is entirely different to his predecessors

The German insists on speaking with each of his new signings, learning about them, and profiling them in his studies concerning how they can be effective in his team. His homework is thorough and all of the scouting reports indicate that he has signed four excellent players to strengthen his already impressive squad. Safe to say, it is not just anyone who can walk in to a Jurgen Klopp team.

The spine of Liverpool’s side was getting weaker by the season, and following Gerrard’s departure to the USA, it all looked rather miserable.  Klopp has slowly turned the tables, moulding Henderson in to a much more assured midfielder as a number 6, as well as giving Bobby Firmino a new lease of life as a forward. Other players have blossomed too, and the German was making good on his promise to develop from within.

Slowly but surely the transfers have come in to help transform his team.  Having cost him three finals already, the weaknesses in Liverpool’s team have finally been eroded down to the fringes of the squad.  2018 has been Klopp’s year to build and add the men he needs to finalise his bid for the summit as Liverpool’s manager.  We should all still be pinching ourselves that this man is our manager.

This article was originally published here at Footie Blog #14.

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