Simon Jordan called Jurgen Klopp the ideal 21st century manager while explaining his comments accusing the Liverpool boss of becoming ‘infected by the disease of arrogance’.
Jordan was critical of German genius Klopp over the weekend, suggesting on talkSPORT that the Reds’ success was going to his head and making him more ‘brusque and irritable’.
The comments were made in relation to Klopp’s post-match interview following Liverpool’s defeat of Leicester on Saturday, with the ex-Borussia Dortmund coach furious at a tackle from Hamza Choudhury on Mohamed Salah.
Jordan used this part of Klopp’s chat with the media to highlight the Liverpool boss’ refusal to also discuss the poor challenge on Youri Tielemans by Trent Alexander-Arnold that was checked by VAR for a possible red card.
“I’ve noticed a slight change in Jurgen Klopp, in the language and robustness of his position,” said Jordan on the Final Word. “I thought his post-match interview was very brusque and irritable, and I know that journalists can drive you mad with ridiculous questions, in his explanation of Salah and what happened to him.
“I didn’t see him complain about what Trent Alexander-Arnold had done to molest a player by dragging his studs down the back of his Achilles.
“He was very aggressive and on the front foot about what happened to Salah.
“I’m just wondering, part and parcel of the appeal of Klopp that’s gotten him away with certain things over the last two-and-a-half years – before he won the Champions League he was a perennial final loser for Liverpool – and I’m now looking at him thinking, ‘you have now won something for Liverpool, are you changing your demeanour?’
“There was a mesmeric million dollar smile that brought all aspects of the media to be a universal admirer of Klopp.
“But is he changing? Is he becoming infected by this disease of arrogance that lots of football managers get?”
Jordan’s comments caused quite a stir on social media, and he returned to talkSPORT on Tuesday to explain just what he meant apropos Klopp’s new-found ‘arrogance’.
He told Jim White on talkSPORT: “I questioned the nature of his response to a reporter, and I questioned myself for questioning it after because I was thinking about winners and what it takes to be a winner and how you have to be definite in your thinking, and I thought there was a rhetoric creeping into him which smacked of being brusque and a little bit arrogant and a bit ahead of himself.
“I questioned myself afterwards, thinking, ‘was that a sound bite? Was that a little bit of clickbait?’, to say something like that to get a reaction.
“I don’t think it was as I thought Klopp was very abrupt with the journalist.
“Football has knocks – you get kicked. I didn’t hear Klopp complaining about Trent Alexander-Arnold dragging his heels down the Achilles of the Leicester player.
“I just thought the invective and rhetoric coming out of him was a bit strong, and I was thinking, ‘are you getting a little bit in front of yourself because you are really on the front foot?’
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“And then I thought this is what leaders do; they call from the front and are strong, and this might be the way he is able to galvanise everyone and everything because the players have no doubt who their biggest champion is – their manager.”
Jordan was also asked about Klopp’s work at Liverpool, and whether a single European Cup in exactly four years as manager is a good return – or should the German have delivered more since being appointed at Anfield on this day in 2015.
“At the beginning of last season I would have said yes [he should have delivered more],” Jordan continued, “because he was getting to the point where this mesmeric smile and this charismatic outlook he has that was wooing certain segments of the media was wearing a bit thin for me because he had been to three finals and had lost them all.
“And Liverpool, whilst looking very, very good at times, were still not quite the item one was anticipating them to be.
“But now, with Jurgen Klopp, it is difficult to argue with what you are looking at with Liverpool; they have won the Champions League, they have come second in the Premier League with what would have won the league 27 times out of 28 of Premier Leagues that have gone before.
Klopp won the Champions League last season and has already added the UEFA Super Cup this term[/caption]
“You are looking at someone who exudes and exhibits what 21st century football management is about; the intensity, the ability to manage 26 players and call upon them individually whenever you need to even if they are not playing regularly, the ability to galvanise and involved a fan base to a different level of intensity.
“This is probably why he talks about not having his contract renewed in 2022, when you see the level of intensity at which he operates.
“To answer the original question; 18 months ago I would have been saying, ‘you’re all flash for cash but not delivery’, but I think now, if not on a par with Guardiola, given what Liverpool have spent and what Liverpool are producing, Klopp is the blueprint for what a modern manager looks like now.”