The footballing world was left stunned by the news that Jurgen Klopp would be stepping down from his beloved Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. Klopp stated that he no longer believed he was the right man to take Dortmund forward, “I always said in that moment where I believe I am not the perfect coach anymore for this extraordinary club I will say so. I really think the decision is the right one. This club deserves to be coached from the 100% right manager.” Dortmund have had a torrid year, at Christmas Klopp’s team were rock bottom of Bundesliga and had themselves engaged in a potential relegation battle.
The rise of Klopp’s Dortmund captivated the world of football, Dortmund arguably became many football fans second team due to their eye-catching displays. Klopp took over at Dortmund in 2008, since taking over he has led Dortmund to two domestic league titles and came agonisingly close to winning the Champions League in 2012-13 before succumbing to Bayern Munich in extra time at Wembley.
Klopp’s upsurge at Dortmund has made him one of the most sought after managers in European Football, Klopp has frequently been touted with making a switch to the Premier League at some stage in his career. Many felt that he was an ideal choice for Manchester United before the appointment of Louis Van Gaal was made. Klopp has revealed that he has no plans to take a sabbatical, the former Mainz man will be constantly linked with clubs all over Europe but the Dortmund manager will be eager to find the perfect project that meets his criteria.
Speculation continues to grow over the future of under fire Manchester City manager Manuel Pellgerini, Carlo Ancelotti is also under scrutiny and will probably be relieved of his duties if he doesn’t guide Real Madrid to consecutive Champions League trophies. Laurent Blanc could also find himself in the firing line after an uninspiring PSG display in the Champions League against Barcelona. Klopp’s announcement will have put Europe’s elite clubs on alert and a host of under pressure managers anxiously looking over their shoulders.
During Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund tenure he managed to temporarily wrestle the initiative away from fierce rivals Bayern Munich. However after Bayern poached rising star Mario Gotze and most recently star striker Robert Lewandowski, Klopp had to witness his title winning side be ripped apart and see his former starlets significantly strengthen Dortmund’s fiercest rivals.
After a bitterly disappointing season, Dortmund currently trail their fierce rivals by 37 points. Dortmund are potentially facing a year without European Football at The Westfalenstadion. German football needs Dortmund to return to the powerhouse they once were in previous years in order for the Bundesliga to reclaim its credibility. Bayern Munich’s wealth and power has made the outcome of the Bundesliga title a forgone conclusion. Although Klopp’s side have significantly fallen from grace, Klopp has left a legacy at Dortmund which will ensure that he goes down a legend with the Dortmund folklore. While Klopp couldn’t sustain success, temporarily breaking Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on German Football is a remarkable achievement.
Thomas Tuchel is the man prized with the task of replacing Jurgen Klopp, Tuchel has signed a three year deal and will officially take over a week after the domestic season finishes. Like Klopp, Tuchel is a former Mainz manager and has endured a sabbatical year of his own. Dortmund moved quickly to secure Tuchel’s services as numerous clubs were interested in hiring the German.
Tuchel’s biggest challenge will be convincing Dortmund’s stars that he can guide them back to the summit. The departure of Klopp could potentially spark a mass exodus at Dortmund, even when Klopp was in charge the constant speculation surrounding the likes of Gundogan, Hummels and Reus was spiralling out of control. With Klopp embarking on a new challenge, Dortmund’s star men may want to follow suit. Marco Reus recently signed a new deal which had his much publicised release clause removed, Dortmund may have to cash in on their prized asset in order to balance the books with a year out of the European’s illustrious top club competition.
Klopp has done a remarkable job at Dortmund and will be adored by the Dortmund faithful for eternity. However it became more and more evident that the burden and challenge of Bayern Munich caught up with Klopp, he looked worn down and idea stricken. Tuchel will arrive with fresh notions, convincing his stars to commit to Dortmund will be his first challenge. If Tuchel manages to keep Klopp’s jigsaw intact he will be better equipped to build a legacy of his own and revive Dortmund’s hopes of returning amongst the elite.