Jurgen Klopp has dismissed the suggestion he is gambling with his reputation by taking on a lost Liverpool cause.
The new Anfield coach jovially recognised this week there are many who believe he’s taken on an impossible job on Merseyside.
“I’ve met two kinds of people here. Most are ‘we will win the league, we will win the league’ and the others look a bit like what have you done, why are you here?!”
That recognises Liverpool are some way behind the big four clubs in the Premier League, with City, Chelsea and United able to simply outspend their rivals on a whim, and even Arsenal some distance beyond the Reds’ financial reach.
It makes winning the Premier League if not impossible, then fiendishly hard, and given Klopp could undoubtedly have taken his pick of the top jobs in Europe – and almost guaranteed another successful chapter in his illustrious career – then many wonder why he’s opted for the risk of Anfield.
But he issued a raucous laugh when faced with that question. “I am many things but not a gambler. No, absolutely not,” he said.
“I had no contact to any other club. When I heard about the interest from Liverpool I didn’t think ‘Ok, maybe I should wait’.”
“No, I never had a plan. I heard it, I felt what I felt. And then I got some information, more and more. I am interested in English football so I knew many things [already].
The German has not had the easiest start to his Liverpool career, an injury nightmare making his first game, a tough trip to Spurs, an even more difficult proposition.
At least Klopp has history on his side as he set off for London, and his bow as manager with the lunch time visit to White Hart Lane.
Liverpool have won their last five games against Tottenham, but the new manager is clearly thinking well beyond that, to the day that he can set Anfield alight with a title triumph.
Coincidentally his previous two clubs Mainz and Dortmund both ran out to the tune of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and now he is at the home of the anthem. The apparent calling is not lost on him, and he admits to having a dream as he starts his new job.
“Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC. Yeah, of course I noticed (the YNWA connection),” he said.
“I am not silly enough to ignore this. I am a romantic: a football romantic. I’m interested in history. But in this moment it’s not the biggest thing I think about. I try to imagine how it could be in the future.
“How long can you sing You’ll Never Walk Alone? Maybe we haven’t reached the highest level with the most emotion. Maybe one day it will be as loud as we can [possibly] hear it.”
Klopp has further injury problems with Jordan Rossiter joining a missing list that includes Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke and Jose Enrique.