End Of Season Thoughts

Well, here we are. Liverpool fans we have arrived at the last week of the season and unfortunately at the end of Jurgen Klopp’s magisterial time as manager. A month ago, I implored you to have hope, to believe in magic once again. Alas, magic could not be conjured. Liverpool did not have an incredible European
comeback or push on to win a league trophy. Instead, they wrapped a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa that confirms their final record against the (current) Top 4 will be 1 win, 4 draws, and 1 defeat. Simply put, that isn’t good enough to obtain glory. So, what do we think of this season now?

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A Fond Farewell

Sunday will be its own thing. Jurgen’s sendoff game, in my mind, is a one-off event that will feel big. However, the stakes are high only because it is his last game. Anfield should be rocking. The team should play like a trophy is on the line. Nevertheless, little else will be obtained from a win. Should it be that way though? I don’t mean that Jurgen doesn’t deserve it, I just mean should we, as fans, be frustrated that more isn’t on the line? Liverpool fans seem split on how this season has gone, and I am using this space to put my thoughts out there for you to judge.

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A Disappointing Season?

There is one part of the fan base that says this season is a failure or at least a disappointment. They think
the late-season collapse shows Liverpool was what they have often been since the 80s, perpetual bridesmaids. I get that feeling. From the outside, this team has a blend of experience and talent that one would think is enough to win a league title. Throw in the promising academy standouts and it feels like there was enough in the squad to get the job done.

Jurgen is one of the best managers in Europe. You found ways to get points week in and week out, essentially staying in the top 2 into mid-April. There was even the whiff of fairy dust with this being Jurgen’s last ride. All those reasons are, I believe, valid ones for someone to argue for why this team should still be in the hunt on Sunday.

I just don’t think I can get there. Now it doesn’t mean that I don’t have criticisms. First, I will have a small go at Jurgen himself. I love the man and all he has meant to the club, but I heard a sports radio host
recently say that in well-run organizations, “coaches coach and GM’s (general managers) GM” or something along those lines. It made me think of Jurgen.

He is a great coach, but I don’t think he is a particularly awesome general manager. If it turns out, like some think it might, that players it appears Jurgen fought hard to have (looking at you Darwin) are not long for the club, I think it is valid to ask if Jurgen should have had as much say as he did on who the club signed.

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I will also listen to those who want to say that Jurgen should have made his announcement at some other
point in the season, rather than when he did. I do think the team, at times, looks mentally drained by the weight of trying to win it all for Klopp. We know how much Klopp teams have to thrive on emotion and energy and when that gets too much to bear I think one only has to look at the beginning of last season to see what kind of effect that can have when things don’t go your way.

Final Thoughts

That said, I don’t think I truly classify this season as disappointing. Yes, it is frustrating to not win a second trophy, but I mean, City just buy them at this point, so is it worth getting that up in arms about? Then you look at the squad itself, which does have holes and dealt with injuries all season and yet still managed to fight until April to stay in the title race.

That is a testament to the culture Jurgen has built. The truth, I think, is that this was always going to be a rebuilding year. The fact that in a rebuilding year, this team still competed for a title, not just Top 4, is impressive. Between pieces that could return and pieces that could be brought in, this still feels to me like a team that can be on an upward trajectory. With a new manager on his way and a new season ahead, have hope Liverpool fans! Enjoy Sunday, enjoy your summer, and as always Up The Reds!

Ugly Crying and Tissues American Scouser Podcast

We think there was a game this weekend as well but the main topic of course is Klopp's farewell
  1. Ugly Crying and Tissues
  2. Two Week Notice
  3. Having Fun Again
  4. The Turkish Rodeo
  5. Glimpse of Hope
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