LIVERPOOL, England (AP): T’S A year since Juergen Klopp breezed into English football as the new manager of Liverpool, and the bespectacled, fun-loving German has established himself as the most charismatic coach in the Premier League. He’s proving to be the shrewdest, too. In a summer transfer window of record spending by English top-flight clubs that topped one billion pounds (now US$1.2 billion) for the first time, Liverpool returned a profit – reportedly between £10-£15 million – as Klopp juggled his squad with mostly lower-profile recruits.
Fears that Liverpool would be left behind by their big-spending rivals have proved unfounded: The strategy has worked out just fine.
Klopp’s team has had the toughest schedule of anyone in the league after seven games but is currently fourth in the standings, two points off first-place Manchester City. The Reds have taken a total of seven points from away games against Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea, thrashed champions Leicester 4-1 and are the joint leading scorers with 18 goals.
That start to the season compares favourably to that of Manchester United, who visit Anfield on Monday for what traditionally is the biggest game on the English calendar between the two most decorated teams in the country.
United had the second-biggest net spend (an estimated $170 million) of any English club in the transfer window under new coach Jose Mourinho, taking a Galactico-style approach to its signings by bringing in Paul Pogba for a world-record fee and superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
IUnited are three points behind Liverpool in seventh place, despite having had easier-looking fixtures.
Klopp spoke yesterday of the “world-class players” that Mourinho has brought in, but without a sense of jealousy.
DOING THE RIGHT THING
Quite simply, he’s happy with what he’s got.
“It’s not a competition. It’s not that you win the league before the season,” Klopp said at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground. “You have a team without spending money and you have a team with spending a lot of money. Everybody has their own possibilities, their own ideas.
“We did what we did because we thought it’s the right thing, for us.”
Monday will mark a year since Klopp took charge of his first Liverpool match – a 0-0 draw at Liverpoo manager Juergen Liverpool’s Rober (centre), against S
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