The Liverpool manager Jürgen Norbert Klopp won ‘The best men’s coach’ award for the second time in The Best FIFA Football Awards held on the 17th of December, virtually hosted from Zürich, Switzerland. But a lot of people feel that there could have been a better winner, here’s why.
BAYERN’S OLD RIVAL
Klopp in his 2019/20 season, led the ‘The Reds’ to their first league title after a massive gap of thirty years. This was Liverpool’s first ‘Premier league’ title and they won it remarkably with seven games spare. They dominated the whole season with their fast-paced and highly intensive counter-attacking way of playing leaving the other teams far behind in the points table by the end of the campaign. The closest team to them were The Cityzens who were 18 points behind the champions. Despite all this, the Champs from Anfield couldn’t hit the 100 points mark and missed out on the chance of being a centurion team, falling short just by one point. Liverpool also won The FIFA Club World Cup, being the first ‘English Club’ to do so.
Klopp’s men couldn’t impress anyone in their 2019/20 Champions League campaign as they were knocked out in the ‘Round of 16’ by Álvaro Morata’s beautiful goal for Atletico Madrid. Liverpool had similar showings domestically as they couldn’t go far in both, The Carabao Cup and The FA Cup. Despite all that, no one can deny that the 2019/20 season has been one of the best seasons in Liverpool history.
The German Manager joined Liverpool in 2015 and has done an amazing job since then. He has led his team to several important victories and has earned the trust of the fans and his players while doing so. He believes in fast counter-attacking gameplay (especially using the wings) and he has built a solid team to do so.
His strategies seem to bear fruit and hence he is now being praised by players, managers and football fans throughout the world. Even his arch rival Pep Guardiola has praised Klopp and his team many a time and in his own words, considers them to be, “one of the best two sides he has ever faced”.
The two greatest sides Pep has managed against: Enrique’s Barcelona and Klopp’s Liverpool 🤷♂️👊 pic.twitter.com/ip7AjDEmWM
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 6, 2019
BAYERN’S NEW HERO
Klopp did have a successful 2019/20, but he wasn’t the only favourite being considered for the award. ‘Hans-Dieter “Hansi” Flick’, the head coach of FC Bayern Munich and ‘Marcelo Alberto Bielsa Caldera’, the head coach of Leeds United were the others. Like Klopp, even Hansi had a wonderful season with Bayern, some might say a lot better than the former.
(Image Courtesy: Fc Bayern English/ Twitter)
Hansi Flick surely stunned everyone by winning ‘The Treble’ in his first season as the head coach of Bayern Munich. Hansi joined the Bavarians in November replacing Niko Kovač when Bayern was standing way down on the league table. The German Giants went on to win the Bundesliga title comfortably under flick’s leadership. They even won DFB-Pokal, the domestic tournament played by german clubs and also were the winners of the annual UEFA Champions League, where they destroyed the Spanish giant Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals making it one of the worst defeats in the club’s prestigious history.
One year since Bayern Munich made Hansi Flick their manager.
▪️ 43-1-3 record
▪️ Won the treble in his first season
▪️ German Super Cup and UEFA Super Cup already in 2020/21
▪️ One trophy every 9.4 games pic.twitter.com/npZKX4niV6
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 3, 2020
Hansi’s style of play takes us back to the oldern Bayern Munich side. The strong positional gameplay, domination over the possession and a huge number of plays for the forwards to smash the ball into the net. Watching the new Bayern side play will remind you of the good ol’ days of Guardiola’s Bayern. In the 24 Bundesliga games flick managed, he won 21, drew 1 and lost only 2 games. The fans believe that if Flick goes on winning games like he is, he might soon surpass Pep’s Bayern statistically. Despite all this, Flick didn’t win the award.
A lot of fans are outraged by the result of the awards. Hansi had literally won all the tournaments in which he managed Bayern Munich, whereas Klopp only won the Premier League.
THE FARMERS LEAGUE THEORY
A lot of people believe that Klopp won the award because Bayern Munich plays in the so-called ‘Farmers’ league’. Farmer’s league in the footballing world means the leagues or tournaments which don’t have a lot of competition in them and there is one outright winner. Bundesliga has always been considered as one of those leagues. Bundesliga sure is an easier tournament to compete in than the English Premier League but it isn’t short of strong teams. Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig, Schalke 04 are a few other strong clubs in the league. Whether it is a tough or an easy league, nobody can deny that Hansi Flick did a commendable job leading his team to the league title.
Klopp stated that he himself was shocked on winning the award. In his acceptance speech, he said, “I am shocked…I was just sitting here because last year I won it, so then I show everybody the respect when I’m nominated and show up wherever it is.”
Flick in an interview stated that he was disappointed and he felt that his staff deserved to win, just like Klopp’s did. He concluded by saying, [espl_quote]But everything goes on, we have new goals to attain. Now, this is closed. The team has attained exceptional results. With Manu and Robert, we have two of the best players.[/espl_quote]
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) December 19, 2020
Mourinho being the guy who likes to pick a fight, made his own comment on the subject.
He felt that Klopp didn’t deserve to win and the award was stolen from Flick. He jokingly said, “Poor Flick. I think the only chance is for Bayern to find two or three more trophies to see if he can win it.” Mourinho has been looking for a new rival for quite some time and looking at his recent comments on Klopp, we guess he has found one.
On paper, it seems Flick should have been the clear winner of the award. He won three titles in his first season and hasn’t made any crucial mistakes so far in his term. Although it is said that Klopp won an extremely tough Premier League comfortably with a huge margin, his side didn’t do well in any of the other domestic tournaments or the Champions League. Even if we look back at the 2018/19 Fifa Best awards, Klopp had won the award for his side’s victory in the champions league, but Liverpool didn’t win anything else. They came second to Manchester City in the Premier League and did horrible in the domestic cups. In the same season, Pep won the domestic treble. The Sharks won the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the FA cup but still, Pep came second after Klopp in the awards.
LET’S MOVE ON
Klopp winning the award is controversial no doubt, but there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Both the managers had a great season and are still doing well with their clubs this year. Instead of quarreling about it, we football fans should cherish the two great sides and enjoy the magic of both the managers while we can. With this season nearly halfway through, Bayern Munich and Liverpool are standing first in their respective leagues and both the managers are looking like strong contenders for the award next season.