John Gibbons: Klopp has the style and substance that Rodgers never had

Expect a tough one at Anfield on Saturday folks.


The entertainers were back in town last night, as Liverpool won a seven-goal thriller at Anfield in the Champions League. I could do with them being a little less entertaining though, if I am honest.

A nice boring second half would have been fine with me. Instead of all that panic and not defending very well.

The stats show Liverpool are giving up more chances than they were last season.

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Professional Data Analyst Dan Kennett counts shots so you don’t have to, and he tweeted this morning that Liverpool have faced 32% more shots per game this season compared with 18/19, and 50% more shots on target.

The Reds might currently have the best defensive record in the Premier League, but a scoreline like last night had been coming.

Ironically given the opposition on Saturday, it all felt a bit Brendan Rodgers. You score three, we’ll score more. It was back to the days of 13-14, a season when Liverpool managed to win 4-3, 5-3 and 6-3 within the space of a couple of months.

It was a lot of fun at the time, but the side ultimately didn’t win anything. It eventually the team fell apart and Brendan left.

Jurgen Klopp will know that success needs to be built on more solid foundations than the team is currently showing. He’ll be much less relaxed about the chances that this side are creating than Rodgers appeared to be during his reign.

The attacking football will have please him greatly last night, some of our play was the best we have seen all season – with the two opening goals in particular lovely flowing moves, but he’d have winced at some of the defending.

Salzburg had some brilliant attacking players of their own, but it shouldn’t be that easy to display your talents.

We are used to seeing opposition forwards being frustrated rather than flourishing at Anfield.

But Liverpool still won the game, and nowhere is the difference between Klopp and Rodgers respective times at Anfield starker than their records in Europe.

Liverpool remain unbeaten at home in Europe under Jurgen Klopp and are still yet to lose a knockout tie in his time as manager. In comparison, Brendan Rodgers’ only foray into the Champions League at Liverpool saw The Reds go out at the group stage after only winning one game, Ludogorets at home.

But, Brendan Rodgers European record won’t matter on Saturday, instead, his Leicester team will be a demonstration of his qualities as a coach. How he improves players and sets up a team to get the most out of the qualities they have.

He inherited a talented squad at Leicester City, but he has taken them to another level.

Just like he did at Liverpool before we let him buy some players and it all went wrong.

Rodgers will get a decent reception at Anfield on Saturday, as any decent man who tried his best should do, player or manager. Yet there won’t be anyone in the ground hoping for a more permanent return to Liverpool Football Club for Rodgers. Not while we have Jurgen Klopp.

While there might be some similarities between the men, in their philosophies on football, their desire to work with and improve young players, and a touch of vanity thrown in too, Klopp has ultimately proved to be the man who can do all that and win.

The man who is both style and substance.

I think Leicester City will finish top four this season, which will be up there with anything Brendan Rodgers has achieved so far in his managerial career.

I think Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will win the league. He might be funny, but he certainly isn’t messing about.

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What do you think?