Clock ticking for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool? Final season at Borussia Dortmund presents potential parallel

Things are not going to plan for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool in 2022/23. The German manager might be revered on Merseyside — justifiably so, given his achievements since taking the job in 2015 — but he will not achieve his aims this season.

Liverpool are languishing around mid-table and the performances have been an indication that something is badly wrong. They were eliminated in the FA Cup (vs. Brighton in 4th Round), League Cup (vs. Manchester City in Round of 16), and are virtually out of the Champions League after a 5-2 first-leg loss at home in the Round of 16.

The lack of results has led many to wonder whether the Klopp era at Liverpool might be nearing an end, or whether his special relationship with the Anfield faithful will ensure he keeps his job.

He’s been at Liverpool longer than he was manager of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in Germany (both seven-year stints), but looking back at his Signal Iduna Park spell might provide more than a hint as to why things are not working out this season and what might be next for Klopp.

So how did it all unravel at Dortmund and what does that mean for his Liverpool future? The Sporting News takes a deeper dive.

MORE: Why are Premier League teams taking the knee this weekend?

Jurgen Klopp trophies at Borussia Dortmund

After impressing as a young coach in the Bundesliga with Mainz between 2001 and 2008, Klopp got a plum job in Germany when he was handed the reins at Borussia Dortmund in May 2008, initially signing a two-year contract.

He soon showed why Dortmund wanted him — and why there was interest from Bayern Munich at the time — taking them from 13th in the league in the year before he took charge, to the top two in the majority of seasons under his stewardship.

Dortmund went on to become regular challengers for trophies under Klopp, winning the Bundesliga in 2010/11 and 2011/12. Bayern have won 10 successive titles since, showing how difficult it is to break up their hegemony. Dortmund also reached the final of the 2012/13 Champions League, losing in the final to their German rivals.

Klopp trophies at Borussia Dortmund

  • Bundesliga (2): 2010/11, 2011/12
  • German Cup: 2011/12
  • German Super Cup (2): 2012, 2013

READ MORE: What Pep Guardiola said about Man City charges from Premier League

When and why Klopp left Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund suffered a major blip in the 2014/15 season, finishing seventh in the Bundesliga, 33 points behind winners Bayern.

Things started to go wrong for Klopp’s side by the November of that campaign, when they went on a five-match losing streak and were down near the relegation places.

Dortmund were known for their high-energy pressing football under Klopp, but they regularly had to sell their best players — often to Bayern, in the person of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski. It was difficult to refresh and renew every summer.

It caught up with them in 2014/15, with Klopp also blaming injuries and a lack of preparation time after the 2014 World Cup (which Germany won, by the way) for the poor form.

Dortmund staged a recovery of sorts later in the campaign after the hierarchy initially kept faith in their manager. But by April with tensions heightened, Klopp offered his resignation, asking to be released from his contract.

Jurgen Klopp smiles during Liverpool training at the State de France

Jurgen Klopp trophies at Liverpool

Everyone knows the success Klopp has enjoyed at Liverpool. There was interest from Manchester United and others after his Dortmund spell, but Anfield proved the perfect fit for his style of football.

He’s won a Premier League, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Champions League since taking charge in 2015 and has been a runner-up in the league and Champions League on multiple occasions, too. He hasn’t become a bad manager overnight, as he’s been at pains to stress in recent press conferences.

Liverpool form guide and injuries

Just like at Dortmund, an inconvenient World Cup (this time mid-season in Qatar) and a spate of injuries have taken their toll on Klopp’s side, leaving them unable to play with the kind of vigour and verve he demands.

Liverpool have certainly suffered their fair share of injuries of late. Forwards Luiz Diaz, Diogo Jota, and Roberto Firmino were out for a bulk of the season, midfielders Arthur and Thiago Alcantara, and centre-back duo Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk were among those who also missed significant time.

There’s no doubt the injuries have affected Liverpool’s form. It’s a similar situation to the one that saw an injury-blighted Liverpool dip so dramatically in the 2020/21 campaign — when they finished third, 17 points off title-winners Manchester City in the season after winning the league themselves.

That year was also played entirely behind closed doors, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Klopp has a full Anfield still behind his team nowadays, and yet things are not working.

Liverpool’s form in 2023 (3W-5L-2D)

Date Opponent Competition Result
January 2 at Brentford Premier League 3-1 (L)
January 7 vs. Wolves FA Cup 2-2 (D)
January 14 at Brighton Premier League 3-0 (L)
January 17 at Wolves FA Cup 0-1 (W)
January 21 vs. Chelsea Premier League 0-0 (D)
January 29 at Brighton FA Cup 2-1 (L)
February 4 at Wolves Premier League 3-0 (L)
February 13 vs. Everton Premier League 2-0 (W)
February 18 at Newcastle Premier League 2-0 (W)
February 21 vs. Real Madrid Champions League 5-2 (L)

Jurgen Klopp’s future as Liverpool manager

Klopp’s mood can fluctuate wildly, depending on the form of his team at the time. And there’s no doubt at the moment he cuts a despondent figure. He looks confused as to why his team are so below par, bar the injuries, but wants to stay on and build another trophy-winning side.

Liverpool great Jamie Carragher believes it would be a mistake for the club to replace Klopp.

“I think it’s well-documented that the Dortmund hierarchy regret Jurgen Klopp moving on, certainly when he’s done what he’s done at Liverpool,” Carragher said.

“They said there are plenty of players, but only one Jurgen Klopp and I feel the same. You change Jurgen Klopp, where do you go from that? There are other managers out there, but we know we have someone special.

“It’s been a poor season by everyone involved and everyone has to take a fair share of the blame, but Jurgen Klopp is the man for me.”

There’s no suggestion (yet) that Klopp will be sacked, and perhaps Dortmund is a lesson in keeping the faith in him more than anything else — given the Black and Yellows haven’t challenged for much silverware since his departure. But Klopp has tended to have seven-year cycles as a manager, and the clock is ticking to show he deserves an eighth at Liverpool.

Premier League 2022/23 TV channels, live streams

Region TV Streaming
Australia Optus Sport


Hong Kong Now TV
India Star Sports Disney+, Hotstar, JioTV
Malaysia Astro SuperSport Astro Go
New Zealand Sky Sport Sky Sport Now, Sky Go
Singapore StarHub StarHub TV+
UK Sky Sports, BT Sport NOW TV, Sky Go, Amazon Prime
USA NBC, USA Network,
Telemundo, Universo
fuboTV, Peacock

UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and BT Sport streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime.

USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on fuboTV. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers.

Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live streaming exclusively via fuboTV in Canada.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport. 

India: Star Sports network has the rights to show Premier League matches in India. As well as an English broadcast on Star Sports Select, select matches will be available via regional feeds on Star Sports 3 (in Bengali, English, Kannada, Malayalam), Star Sports 1 (Bangla) and Star Sports 1 (Tamil).

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