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Jurgen Klopp's Pre Liverpool Defensive Record

Jurgen Klopp's Pre Liverpool Defensive Record

The spotlight is trained on Liverpool's current frailty at the back. Jurgen the German manager is confident he can fill the holes. 

Klopp's managerial career to date is limited to two clubs before joining Liverpool in October 2015. Let's rate his defensive record at both.

Mainz 05 (2001 - 2008)
His first managerial posting, at the club he had played for the whole of his career. He oversaw promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in the club's history, but also relegation in 2007. During their three years in the Bundesliga they never finished more than mid table, suggesting that Klopp's zonal 4 man defense based harrying off the ball approach may not have been the right approach for top flight football. 

Klopp record at Mainz: 109 wins, 78 draws and 83 losses (mostly in the Bundesliga)
Defensive rating: Unsatisfactory (could do better)

Borussia Dortmund (2008 - 2015)
The club's transformation from mediocre has - been to domestic double winners in 2012 and Champions League finalists in 2013, plus all the other achievements during Klopp's reign there was the stuff of dreams. However, his final season in charge before the move to Liverpool tells another story. The high tempo pressing game meant that a quick turnover of the ball often found them short at the back, with a number of goals conceded in one on one or two on two situations. Most worrying for Liverpool fans is that, after playing this style of football for so many years, Jurgen Klopp seemed unwilling or unable to change it.

It seems that this tactical approach is the also the underlying cause of Liverpool's defensive problems. Jurgen's solution: fitness, aggression, attitude - pressing harder than the opponents ('fighting football", Klopp has called it) i.e. attack (and score) first.
Perhaps most concerning for Liverpool fans is that it seemed to take Bundesliga clubs eight years to work out how to play against Borussia Dortmund but Premier League teams less than two.

But, as long as Liverpool keep scoring goals at the other end (and winning) who cares?

Klopp record at Borussia Dortrmund: 179 wins, 69 draws, and 70 losses
Defensive rating: Very good (until final season)

(CNN)


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