Jurgen Klopp Champion Rise
Not since the young Mourinho has such a breath of fresh air blown through football management.
Okay, so the team Jurgen Klopp manages, Borussia Dortmund, got turned over at Wembley in Saturday’s enthralling Champions League final. A crushing last minute Bayern killer denied his team. Man-for-man the Munich superstars were indeed superior, yet as a team Dortmund pushed them so very hard.
Yet his achievements are incredible. The 1997 conquerors of Europe club were on the brink of folding only a decade back. Just five years ago they had to a win a relegation battle. Then the past two years, glory with the Bundesliga crown.
And it seems it is all down to Herr Klopp and his unusual, often fun methods.
To what does he himself credit the turnaround and ability to stay at the top?
Well, in interviews before the big game last week, I was struck by four elements he chose to state.
The number one quality of his team must be Character
To stay playing at their wonderful stadium (average attendance an incredible 80,000), (or at the levels they’ve reached) they must play in a special way
No-one can be happy with only small steps
You may lose, but you must fight
It’s the delivery of the rhetoric that counts as much as, if not more than, the mere words.
There’s an air of quiet confidence with a cheeky grin accompanied at all times by an inclusiveness and humility that is so often lacking from all those American dazzling toothed preachers.
These quartet do of course hold Sales parallels.
I love the call for character. I always maintain that to stay atop a summit you need to do something extra. I applaud the demand to seek big steps, but I also strongly counsel that small steps in the right direction (a little progress each day) are also necessary. And to be fighter is essential, although you must carefully select your battles.