Leicester City’s success made the recently concluded Premier League season one of the most exciting in recent times.
But the next season is all set to be even bigger with a number of top-class managers making their move to England.
Along with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Chelsea have also roped in Antonio Conte leaving Arsenal as the only club with a long-term manager amongst the top EPL clubs.
Mauricio Pochettino and Claudio Ranieri also deserve loads of praise for their team’s surge in the league but one German who took the league by surprise last campaign is Liverpool’s head Jurgen Klopp.
Having taken Borussia Dortmund to new heights, Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers just 8 games into the season, a decision that seemed to have come 8 games late.
Right from the first game against Tottenham the intensity of the Liverpool players seemed to have changed for good while the noise at Anfield for the second leg against Villarreal proved that he also had his impact on the fans.
Liverpool, in what can be termed as a disappointing season, have lost two finals and have finished 8th in the points table, leaving them without European games next season.
And many fans and pundits were quick to point out that the lack of mid-week games might actually be a blessing for the club next season.
In the last season, Liverpool played a whole of 67 games, which is the record for English top-flight and have been involved in almost every mid-week since Klopp’s arrival.
This exposed the man-management skills of the manager who was quick to bring back a number of fringe players from around Europe who were on loan to give more depth to the squad.
But none of this mattered in the end as a look-back at the whole season will not make too many fans smile. However, the biggest debate has been whether Klopp could have done more with the squad he has or has he already over-achieved.
What about the next season?
Liverpool along with Juventus have 16 players busy at the EUROs in France showing the amount of quality in the squad, but one has to remember that each and every player in the current Liverpool squad came to the club under Brendan Rodgers and are not necessarily a good fit into Klopp’s style of play.
Even then, the charismatic manager produced some nerve wrecking moments and gave some memories to cherish for the Anfield faithful even in such a short time.
There is no doubt that the same squad of Liverpool players looked better under Klopp than Rodgers but does that mean a few additions to the squad will make Liverpool un-beatable?
Klopp has already bought in the likes of Marko Grujic, Joel Matip and Loris Karius for the next season and it looks like he wants to strengthen some more places in the squad before the start of the next season.
But what has to change is the whole mentality at the club whose shortcomings were exposed in the Europa League final vs. Sevilla in Basel.
It seems to be a common belief amongst supporters of the Premier League that Liverpool, without European distractions will challenge for the title next season.
This is something that will put more pressure on Klopp to perform. Last season, he had a squad that was not his and he got away with any short-comings in the side.
No room for complacency next season
However, in the next season, any complacency in the squad will come back to haunt Klopp as he will have 2 solid months to get the players he wants to take the club in a forward direction.
The Reds will be expected to come out and win most of their games next season as they will have at least 5 days to prepare for every game. All this pressure is bound to tell on the club and it might just make the difference between a Leicester like story and a repeat of the 2013-14 season.
There is no doubt that Liverpool have the advantage over their rivals but the expectations on them can pull them down very quickly in crunch times.
It is safe to say that Klopp will be under more pressure than even Arsene Wenger who might be leading the Emirates’ outfit for the last time or Pep Guardiola who will make his debut in the EPL.
That is where Klopp needs to prove his mettle and assure the Liverpool fans that the excitement felt at Anfield last season was not just a temporary one, rather it may go on to become a regular theme for The Reds in coming seasons.
Do you think Klopp can soak the pressure and snap up the opportunity at Anfield next season?