Posts Tagged ‘Jurgen Klopp’

Player of the Season

Robert Lewandowski: Only Mario Gomez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bettered the Pole’s return of 22 Bundesliga goals this term, not bad for a man who started the season as second-choice striker for Borussia Dortmund. His goals, assists and link-up play as the lone striker have been an integral part of The Borussians title success. So much so, in fact, that Lucas Barrios, the man whose injury gave Lewandowski his chance, has been sold to Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande.

Eurosport’s Ian Holyman said: “22 goals is a great return for a man who started the season as second-choice to Lucas Barrios. The Pole seized his opportunity wonderfully when Barrios returned injured from the Copa America, and I think gave Dortmund more as their lone striker than the Paraguayan did in 2010-11.”

Young Player of the Season

Marco Reus: He’ll be a teammate of Lewandowski next season, having agreed back in January to play in the black and yellow of Dortmund from next season, with a fee of around £17.5m reported to have been paid for his services. If he carries on from this season, that will be an absolute bargain. Only Gomez, Huntelaar and Lewandowski have more ‘points’ in terms of goals and assists combined, with Reus delivering 18 goals and 9 assists for Monchengladbach – a remarkable return for a 22-year-old, and one that played a huge part in The Foals securing a Champions League spot.

Ian Holyman said: “Sensational for Mönchengladbach…He’s a player who I think will receive wider acclaim at EURO 2012, where he isn’t likely to start, but will be explosive when he comes off the bench.”

Manager of the Season

Jurgen Klopp: While honourable mentions must go to Lucien Favre (‘Gladbach) and Christian Streich (Freiburg) et al, Klopp deserves this for leading Dortmund to back-to-back league titles for the first time since the mid-90s. His role in the success of the side, and the development of youngsters like Mario Gotze, cannot be underestimated, and his reputation is now such that his name is linked with almost every top managerial vacancy. However, you’d imagine he’ll be at Dortmund for the forseeable (and very bright) future.

“Managed to find the rights words to inspire his team to hold off Bayern, who invested heavily last summer, once again.” – Ian Holyman.

Team of the Season (4-2-3-1)

Ter-Stegen; Piszczek, Hummels, Dante, Lahm; Bargfrede, Kroos; Harnik, Kagawa, Reus; Lewandowski.

Do you agree? Should someone else have won? Shocked Huntelaar was left out of the team of the season? Leave a comment and let us know…

Borussia Dortmund’s reign continued as they succeeded in winning back-to-back Bundesliga’s for the first time in 16 years.

A 2-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach at Westfalenstadion was enough for Die Schwarzgelben to clinch the title with two games to spare, despite Bayern winning earlier in the day to keep their slim hopes alive.

The league win completes what has been a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the club, the culmination of the work done by Jurgen Klopp since his arrival.

Having won the Bundesliga in 2002, and becoming the first German club to be publicly traded on the stock market, Dortmund went into a decline in both football and financial terms.

There was some very poor management money-wise, which saw the selling of the stadium, the worth of shares in the club plummeting, players forced to take a pay cut and the club on the brink of bankruptcy.

There was also poor management on the field, perhaps caused by those events off it, with the side flirting with relegation in both 2007 and 2008.

Klopp: A kiss is the least he deserves.

Klopp took charge in 2008, and in his first two seasons they finished 6th and 5th respectively, a notable improvement, with thanks to some astute signings such as Kevin Grosskeutz, Sven Bender and Lucas Barrios.

In the summer of 2010, Klopp showed exactly how shrewd an operator he really is, with Robert Lewandowski, Lukas Piszczek and Shinji Kagawa all arriving – the latter for just £350,000. And, after handing him a debut the season before, he promoted a little known midfielder by the name of Mario Gotze to the first team.

The attack grabbed the headlines, as Gotze burst onto the scene to become one of the most talked about teenagers in world football, but it was arguably at the back the first title was won. They conceded just 22 goals in the Bundesliga, 17 less than the next best defence, Mainz 05.

Talk turned to how they could possibly retain the title, with most fancying Bayern Munich to recapture their crown. That looked all the more likely when Nuri Sahin left for Real Madrid, but the arrival of Ilkay Gundogen and the return from loan of Moritz Leitner made for more than suitable replacements.

Along with that, Lewandowski also replaced Barrios as the first choice striker, while Mario Gotze has spent large chunks of the season on the sideline. Despite this, the hunger, desire and style of play have not only remained, but improved. They’ve conceded 23 goals thus far, the second best in the league and an impressive feat in a league that has the highest goals-per-game ratio of the top league’s in Europe, while they’re also the joint top scorers.

They haven’t been beaten since September, with a league record of 25 games unbeaten. Lewandowski has been a revelation up front, scoring 20 league goals and seven assists, while Kagawa has 13 goals and six assists.

With a proven record of developing young talent – both from home and abroad, and the success of the past two seasons providing a platform to build upon, the future certainly looks bright, and they’ll very much be in the hunt for a third straight title next year – something not achieved since Bayern between 1999 and 2001.

Clarissa Judmann, of BVB Offside, described the factors of both the team’s resurgence, and this season’s league win. She said: “[Factors for Dortmund resurgence]: Getting the financial house in order, getting lucky on the transfer market – I don’t think that anyone would have predicted players like Kagawa and Piszczek to be such big successes – and we also made ourselves into one of the prime German addresses for young players. Jürgen Klopp is an excellent, excellent coach when it comes to working and motivating with a young team and he is one of the major factors of our success too. Overall, there is currently a coherent strategy being worked at Dortmund, which is a big draw for players.

“[The biggest factors this season have been]: The return to form of Shinji Kagawa after his injury, being able to substitute Sahin well with Bender, Kehl and Gündogan, keeping most of the team together, Lewandowski stepping up big time, and the early European exit probably helped.”

To read more about what the future holds for Dortmund, click here.

If he were to go, who would replace Joachim Löw?

Following this list of managers from within the national team setup who could replace Joachim Low, either now or in the future, the is also a very distinct possiblilty the replacement will come from a coach at club level.

Allan Edgar, of Bundesliga Football, said: “There is a wealth of talent in Germany at the moment with regards to coaching. Although there’s no shortage of potential targets – Klopp in particular has shown his clear ability again this year whilst Tuchel, Slomka and Favre all deserve mentions – there is no inclination yet as to who will be offered the position given the length of time Löw is expected to remain at the helm.”

Here’s a look at five club managers who could be in the frame…

Jurgen Klopp

At 44, he is young in terms of age – only two years older than Freund – but already has over a decade in management to his name. Played over 300 games for Mainz 05 between 1990 and 2001, before taking over as manager after hanging up his boots. Under him they qualified for the 2005/06 Uefa Cup, but were also relegated in 2007. Kept his job after relegation, but left after they failed to gain promotion. He became manager of Dortmund in 2008, and has set about transforming the side – culminating with last season’s Bundesliga win, a feat they look set to repeat this season. If Germany were to replace Low from outside the national setup, he’d surely be the favourite.

Heiko Vogel

Worked for almost ten years at various levels within Bayern Munich’s youth system, after studying to become a sports teacher/coach. He was assistant to Thorsten Fink at Ingolstadt 04, and followed him to FC Basel in 2009. Got the top job at the Swiss club when Fink left for Hamburg SV. Has taken Basel to the last-16 of the Champions League, and overseen famous victories over Manchester United and Bayern Munich. At 36, he’d represent a big risk, but is a talented manager with a big future in the game.

Thorsten Fink

Won four Bundesliga titles and the Champions League as a player with Bayern Munich, and has since set about working his way up the managerial ladder. Started out with Red Bull Salzburg, before moving on to Ingolstadt and then making his name at Basel, where – with Vogel alongside him – he won back-to-back Swiss Super League titles. Currently in charge of HSV, they sit a somewhat disappointing 14th, but there’s no denying he’s one of the best up-and-coming young managers in German club football.

Thomas Tuchel

After his playing career in the lower-leagues was cut short by injury, he began working with the U19 side of Stuttgart, and then performing a similar role with the youth teams of FC Augsburg. Was appointed Head Coach of Mainz 05 in 2009, and has since done remarkably well, including a 5th place finish last year. At only 38 and two years in the Bundesliga, he has an extremely bright future, which may well include the national job at some point down the line – but it’s unlikely to be anytime in the near future.

Ralf Rangnick

A long and extensive career in management has saw Rangnick have spells in charge of Stuttgart, Hannover, Hoffenheim and two with Schalke – to name a few in a career that has so far lasted over 20 years – including some player/manager roles in the lower-leagues early on, although he did not enjoy a particularly successful playing career. He guided Schalke to the semi finals of the Champions League with a two-legged win over Inter Milan, but stepped down in September due to health reasons. He actually missed out on the role of Germany’s assistant to Joachim Low back in 2004, but could now be the man who replaces him. Given he cited exhaustion as the reason for leaving Schalke, international management could be perfect for him – but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be considered perfect for it.