Of the many things learned from Ajax’s win over Real Madrid this week, one thing was clear; Santiago Solari will not be getting the job full time. The hunt for the next Madrid boss has begun, and Jurgen Klopp is among the candidates.
On the face of it, the Liverpool boss would be an excellent appointment for Real Madrid. The German offers everything that they would want in a manager.
He plays an exciting, attacking brand of football, he has a rich history of developing young talent and he also ensures a positive atmosphere around the club and prides himself on building that community.
All of those things have been evident during his time on Merseyside. Liverpool were a broken club when he arrived. In the intervening years, he has improved the team, their confidence and the faith of the fans. How Real Madrid need those things at this moment in time.
Add in the fact Klopp has a history of success in the Champions League with Dortmund and Liverpool, and he becomes an even more ideal candidate. The truth is, though, he would be foolish to make a move to Madrid.
The chief reason is his current standing in Liverpool. Klopp has turned himself into the key man at Anfield. Everything at the club currently revolves around him. They are now built in his image and singing his tune. The entire club is pulling in the direction he leads them in.
It means he has the faith of everyone at the club. The owners, players and fans all believe in him. They have faith he will deliver the titles and success they crave. They also afford him the patience and time to achieve it. Even if Liverpool fall in the title race this year, there will be no pressure on him.
The situation would be completely different in Madrid. They are such a giant club that they do not bend to the man in the dugout. Regardless of his reputation or history, the manager must adapt to how things are done in Madrid. Klopp could not work in that environment. He is a manager who has one set way and moulds his team in that image. Doing that at the Bernabeu would be impossible.
Even if it were possible, he would not be given the time to implement his place. Madrid expect success, and they expect it instantly. They have no patience for processes and plans. There is no desire to wait a couple of years for a team to develop and become world-class. They want Galacticos and Galactico football.
Klopp couldn’t work in that environment. It would chew him up and spit him out like it has plenty of talented managers over the years. The culture of the club is one that clashes with his own.
Fortunately for Liverpool, it’s unlikely Klopp will leave. He’s turned down Real Madrid in the past, and he’s likely to do it again in this instance.
The German knows what he has on Merseyside is unique and won’t be keen to pass it up any time soon. Should be tempted by the lights of Madrid, though, he should remember that the Spanish capital would not be the right place for him to move to.