Upon watching the FA Cup final yesterday, the commentator (goodness knows who) remarked that Jurgen Klopp had remarkably been in charge since 2015.
I was taken aback at this, as it just feels like a lot shorter. Furthermore, I was then subjected to watching him address and ‘pseudo-olé’ the crowd basking in his respectable FA Cup win. His second trophy of this season.
I was struck by a hybrid sense of emotion. Something betwixt anger and frustration.
The parallels with Farke/Dortmund are of course, lazy but the point remains that we had someone with which we could build a dynasty. Someone who cared about the club. The fans, the infrastructure. Someone who generally wanted to build and cultivate a long-lasting legacy. A man who developed a cult of personality. A man who believed in his methodology. A man who knew his means and how to live within them. A nurturer and embracer of youth.
Of course, we and Liverpool cut our cloth from very different tables, but notwithstanding, they are two undeniably gifted managers who led their respective clubs to great things.
Watching Klopp embrace the crowd and whip them into a frenzy just brought such a feeling of sadness. A feeling that we had this, and it’s now gone.
Dean Smith is a nice fellow, but I doubt very much whether he has any vested interest in the club. To him, a job is a job. And that’s it. With Farke it just felt like so much more. It felt like such a natural fit. Yet the fickle nature of the disgraceful sport that football has become, chewed him up and spat him out. Parka and all.
I doubt there are many managers who could’ve got a tune out of the squad we have. I think the recruitment tried hard. They know the limitations the club is under. And any new signing is always a gamble.
These gambles didn’t pay off. That’s life. But to debase yourself and knee-jerk into sacking someone who has built the club up from mid-table Championship mediocrity was disgraceful. Particularly so when the man in charge of that decision has little empathy with those who do bleed yellow and green.
We are now stuck with a rebuild and a manager whom I suspect will be off, either as soon as a better offer comes along, or he fails to break into the top six. Such is the short-sighted nature of the modern game, seeking the next ‘fix’ or hit, that there is no time anymore to build a legacy.
Yet we had someone who could have done that. And gladly.
We’ll never know how this season would have panned out under Farke. Yet, what I can say with complete certainty, is it couldn’t have been any worse. Akin with Liverpool fans for their smiling rock n roll gegen pressing manager, there’ll always be a place in my heart for a certain long-haired, articulate, smiling, parka-wearing German.
What a dynasty you could have created. Like Derby after Clough.
There are those of us who want you back.