When Alex Ferguson left the manager’s job at Old Trafford back in 2013 it was kind of assumed that he would ride off into the sunset.
This has really not been the case though given his immediate new role with the club as an ambassador. This job requires only 20 appearances a year but earns him a staggering £2 million a year.
Apparently, he also helps writes reports for UEFA too. This has come to light as a technical report on both premier European competitions has been published. Ferguson is a contributor and he had some strong opinions on Liverpool’s performance in the final against Sevilla last season.
While he did acknowledge that Liverpool forced Sevilla out of their usual fluid passing in the first half, he claims this backfired severely in the second half as,
“In the second half Liverpool had no energy, they could not get to the ball. The space in midfield became bigger. I never had a team who could press a ball all season.”
It’s a very thought-provoking point when one considers the depth of squad Ferguson had at his disposal for much of his career compared to the more limited set of players Klopp has.
While Klopp has so far been a modest success at Anfield, one has to wonder if they continue to improve in the short-term and begin to go deep into European competitions over the next seasons while also trying to maintain title challenges as United did during Ferguson’s reign, whether Klopp’s players will be able to keep up with the demands of their manager.
After all, last season Klopp took over after an awful start under Brendan Rodgers where any chance of league success was already gone, so Europe and the domestic cup competitions could become the focal point of the season. While they still had to play their full allotment of league matches, Klopp and his players were essentially given a free pass to occasionally slip up as it could be chalked up to them still being in a bedding-in stage.
There was also the fact that these weren’t the correct personnel for his system and he needed a few transfer windows to mould the squad to fit his tactics. These reasons combined with Klopp’s raw likeability are perhaps why fans continue to be very forgiving of him despite the stats appearing to suggest that Liverpool are not all that better under him than they were under his predecessor Rodgers.
It would be remiss not to acknowledge that Ferguson has been very complimentary towards Klopp in the past. A year ago whilst United were in the midst of the Van Gaal doldrums, he expressed a real fear of the German being the man to finally restore Liverpool to the top of English football,
“Even at Newcastle when they lost the second goal he goes over to Steve McClaren to congratulate him. That’s class. And the work he did at Dortmund. He’s going to make a difference at that club with his personality, drive and knowledge.
“Things are looking up there. I’m worried about him because the one thing United don’t want is Liverpool to get above us.”
With his most recent comments though he appears less enamoured with his style of play. While it did take Germany by storm, perhaps in the long-term it will prove too strenuous on his current squad of players given that they play in a league that is notorious for already being the most physically gruelling one in Europe.