Vote Klopp – the man who knows how to win
Should Jürgen Klopp be prime minister? As Liverpool move within two points of their first league title for 30 years, their manager is being hailed as an international model of leadership.
Few people had had their ambitions put more dramatically on hold by the pandemic than Jurgen Klopp. His team were just five points short of the Premiership title; if not for the lockdown, they would have been champions in a matter of days.
But, instead of tearing his hair out with frustration, the German manager behaved in a manner worthy of a great politician.
“There were meetings with all the departments in the morning and everyone was given a chance to give their input,” says one of his colleagues. “The way he works is like a cabinet government with an unbelievably powerful prime minister. Klopp will take the ultimate decision, but he takes other opinions on board.”
Klopp has come a long way from the small town of Glatten in the Black Forest where he grew up. After playing as a defender for Mainz 05, he became the club’s manager, securing promotion to the Bundesliga, before winning two league titles for Borussia Dortmund.
Since his arrival at Anfield in 2015, Liverpool have won the UEFA Champions League and become runaway Premiership leaders.
The key to success, Klopp argues, is collective effort. “The more you love to suffer for each other, to sacrifice for each other, the better you will be. That’s common sense.”
Should Jürgen Klopp be prime minister?
No. Running a country is more difficult than running a football club and, even if Klopp were British instead of German, he would fail. A prime minister has to deal non-stop with a host of different problems; a manager has the luxury of focusing on one game at a time.
Yes. There is no limit to Klopp’s abilities. Klopp is obsessive and tough, but also compassionate and able to connect with people. If not prime minister, says the Labour MP Liam Byrne, “He could be a future chancellor of Germany.”
- Should Liverpool have been awarded the title without being made to complete the season?
- Liverpool fans are famous for singing the song, You’ll Never Walk Alone. Using a new tune or an existing one, write a song for your favourite team.
Some People Say...
“If you are first, you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.”Bill Shankly (1913-1981), Scottish manager of Liverpool
What do you think?
Q & A
- What do we know?
- Several stars of the sports world have made their mark on politics. Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, was a cricketer who led his country to victory in the 1992 world cup. Jack Lynch, who served two terms as leader of the Republic of Ireland, was outstanding at Gaelic football and hurling. Olympic runner Sebastian Coe became a Conservative MP and now sits in the House of Lords.
- What do we not know?
- Which political party Klopp would choose to represent. It would certainly be a left-of-centre one. “I believe in the welfare state,” he says. “I’m not privately insured. I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate. My political understanding is this: if I am doing well, I want others to do well too.”
- A group of ministers who give the prime minister advice. The name originally meant a small room in which they met.
- Black Forest
- A mountainous wooded area of south-west Germany. The rich chocolate and cherry cake known as Black Forest gâteau may take its name from the cherries that grow there, or the traditional hats with red pom-poms on top worn by local women.
- Germany’s equivalent of the Premier League. It consists of 18 teams.
- Liverpool’s ground. Dating from 1884, it was originally the home of Liverpool’s local rivals Everton.
- Collective effort
- A group of people acting together.