Jürgen Klopp is the happiest chappy in the Premier League. His big, beaming, German grin can instantly light up a room and it seldom seems to fade. But there’s something sad underneath it all. Mr Klopp can’t win finals. Well, he can win one final. But, on the whole, let’s say he can’t win finals. That, in a convoluted nutshell, is why he’s a very sad old chap.
Jürgen Klopp’s record in major finals is nothing short of atrocious. Since winning the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund back in 2012, the 50-year-old gaffer has lost five consecutive cup climaxes.
What is it about the fella that breeds failure at the most critical of times?
We’ve had a look, a dig through the files, to find out. By collating our research, we’ve managed to produce Jürgen’s tipsheet on how to lose a final.
1) Crack jokes
Rumour has it that the Liverpool boss often performs a brief stand-up routine to ease the nerves of his squad before big games. Klopp reportedly compares himself to a German Tommy Cooper and has been known to incorporate fancy dress and roleplay into his pre-match gigs.
Some reckon the players could find it distracting but, after all, smiley Klopp is a friend first, a boss second and probably an entertainer third. Every part of that tripartite is important.
2) A good bit of hearty German grub
Layer it on. Get the bratwurst and sauerkraut cosying up to one another in a steaming, mouth-wateringly flavoursome embrace.
Klopp typically gets the pilsners in and ensures his squad is well fed and merry. Smiling, he glances around the table as lederhosen clad men tuck in to their meals whilst swigging from great steiners. The final may be around the corner, but at least Jürgen’s men are happy.
3) Rest the big guys
Use it as a reward. To those that have grafted their arses off all season, drop a little relaxin’ bench time to take the pressure off. Besides, it might boost the other lads’ confidence. Imagine winning the Champions League without your main men. The boys who played would feel like stars.
Still, it’s not like Liverpool are reliant on any one contingent.
4) Say ‘Boom!’ repeatedly
This is an age-old gimmick and one used by Klopp and his followers throughout the season. Insiders have confirmed, however, that the gaffer’s Boom!-o-meter hits intergalactic levels of over usage before big games.
Wheeling out the ‘Boom!’ adds a little grain of character to Klopp’s media image every single time. A teamtalk comprised of nothing but the onomatopoeic spurt would rouse the spirits beyond belief and, surely, fire Liverpool emphatically out of the Champos’ final.
5) Let it slip
This technique is often associated with Liverpool more so than Jürgen Klopp but it’s an essential step to bombing out on a high. Perhaps Klopp will go with the textbook Reds’ tactic of playing out of their skin, storming on to victory and, then, in the final furlong, capitulating beyond words. Let it slip. Some are suggesting Rangers will be adopting similar tactics under their new boss.
So, there you have it: the Jürgen Klopp guide to losing a final. Follow those questionable steps the next time you’re looking to break some hearts in dramatic style.
Still, they’ll all prove to be worthy anecdotes for the no doubt forthcoming biography.