Jurgen…..

Bloganuary Day 6: will this torment ever end?

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

It would be all too easy – albeit entirely justified, I may say – to complete Day 6 of my self-imposed Bloganuary ordeal with a paean to Madame, who does inspire me, for more reasons and in more ways than I could ever tell. But you’d be bored and we’d be embarrassed, so just take that as read.

Admittedly, ‘admiration’ is not really the same thing as ‘inspiration’, but I have tried quite hard to think of someone who does genuinely inspire me. So what I can tell you is that I greatly admire Jurgen Klopp , a man who is, without question, inspirational.

For those who may not be familiar with the name, Jurgen Klopp is the current manager of Liverpool Football Club, a team I have supported through thick and thin – admittedly, mostly thick – for at least sixty years. Liverpool is no ordinary club (trust me, if you don’t already know that then either you’re in denial or it would take far too long to explain) and Jurgen is no ordinary manager.

His professional expertise is of the highest order. Since he became Liverpool’s manager in 2015 he has guided the team to success that had previously been absent for far too long. In 2020 they simultaneously held the titles of English, European and World club champions.

That in itself would be enough to guarantee him a permanent place in the pantheon of Liverpool legends. However, the uniqueness of Liverpool is in the close interrelationship between the club itself and its supporters. Very few managers at any club have sought and achieved such a close rapport with the fans. Many don’t go out of their way to develop any kind of relationship. Some of those were even managers of Liverpool – but not for very long.

The rapport is genuine. At the end of the game, Klopp will always approach where the Liverpool supporters are gathered and give his characteristic three fist-pumps. You just know he’s doing it for us, not just himself.

Is Klopp obsessed with football? Of course he is. To be successful in his profession you have to be. In that sense he is truly admirable, but what I find most inspirational about him is his worldly wisdom. Most recently he has been outspoken in support of Covid vaccination, decrying the anti-vaxxers (and getting the predictable storm of ignorant abuse for having the common sense and courage to do so).

Here, though, is a brief selection of some of his other pearls of wisdom:

  • ‘If you want to have success in the future, you have to be ready to work now’
  • ‘Life is too short not to celebrate nice moments’
  • ‘I understand aggressiveness in only one way: being prepared to hurt yourself, not someone else’
  • ‘Money isn’t the most important thing. It is important, of course. I am not Mahatma Gandhi’
  • ‘Only stupid people are changed by success’

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