JERMAINE JENAS EXCLUSIVE: Jurgen Klopp doesn't need to rely on Liverpool's star players because he is the superstar at Anfield

JERMAINE JENAS EXCLUSIVE: Jurgen Klopp doesn't need to rely on Liverpool's star players because he is the superstar at Anfield

Liverpool's 4-1 win at Manchester City felt like a landmark moment in Jurgen Klopp's reign at Anfield. Not only did it revive the club's top four ambitions, it was also the moment where the German manager's philosophy started to fully take shape.

It left the impression that Klopp is so respected within the Reds changing room that all his players are buying into the team game, rather than relying on their so-called key men.

Klopp left Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge on the bench against Man City - the two players who are supposed to be his star strikers - but it didn't matter. Whereas in the past Liverpool have hinged their hopes on Sturridge's fitness or Suarez's goals, Klopp does not get bogged down in worrying about the importance or individual players. For him, it is all about the team.

As much as I liked Brendan Rodgers, he became reliant on certain players. To an extent he was justified, because when he had any combination of Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling or before that Luis Suarez, it worked well for him. But the problem is that when those players aren't available - or they leave the club - the team suffers.


Jurgen Klopp doesn't seem to rely on anyone, as if it's not part of his plan to have a superstar in his team. He'll happily take a superstar, or he'll do without - it doesn't phase him either way. And that's an amazing trait to have.

For Klopp, losing Sterling in the summer would not have been a big issue - and consequently you would have avoided the circus surrounding the transfer - because he would just see it as an opportunity to buy somebody else and create another Sterling, or someone better. And he can point to his track record at Borussia Dortmund in doing exactly that. He doesn't rely on players because he knows he has the ability to transform a player within his system.

I haven't seen a manager with that level of confidence since Sir Alex Ferguson. Whether you were David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs or anyone else, no one was ever bigger than Ferguson at Manchester United. And whoever came in would have to play Ferguson's way. A lot of managers might come into clubs with that same intention, but it doesn't often work out as planned. Any manager who is too domineering risks upsetting individuals in his team, but Klopp seems to be one of the few who can pull it off.

I know from what I've heard from one current first-team player at Anfield that all the players are loving training and Klopp's style of play. Every second they spend on the training ground is like an education, and you can almost see that in the way they're playing.

Players like Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Lucas and Emre Can are thriving. It's partly down to Klopp's style, but it's also his mentality and the belief he is instilling in his team. Personally, I'd love to play under Klopp. There aren't too many managers who have that effect - Jose Mourinho is probably the only other one in the Premier League, or going back further Ferguson.

When I look at Klopp I want to be in that changing room - testing myself and having him guiding me and pushing me to become a better player. That's what players want: a manager who can make you better, or turn you from a good player into a top player. Like what Mourinho did with Frank Lampard at Chelsea, for example.

Without a manager who sees that spark and manages to get that extra 10 per cent out of you, that potential can fade away. Klopp has got that ability. And if you don't buy into his project, he's quite happy to let you go and move on to a player who is.

Coutinho and Firmino inspired Liverpool to a stunning win over Manchester City
Coutinho and Firmino inspired Liverpool to a stunning win over Manchester City

The Klopp factor could also be extremely useful to the Reds in the transfer market. Liverpool have been very quickly slipping down the list of clubs in top players' options. After they lost Sterling and Suarez, other top players would have asked themselves whether Anfield was the place they wanted to spend their prime years - and the answer would have been no. But now, those players will take a risk on Liverpool because they believe Klopp will get the best out of them, which could help them attract players in January and beyond.

Klopp also has a real quality in being able to let the fans in. It might sound like a strange thing to say - and I certainly don't mean it in bad way - but he comes across like the guy at the end of the road that manages your local team.

He's a man of the people, and that's what Liverpool Football Club has always been about. There was a huge buzz when Klopp arrived, but this is about more than the "new manager effect".

That fades quickly, trust me. You probably get one or two games' grace out of it. What we're seeing now is an identity and a direction that Klopp is stamping on Liverpool.

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