Not for the first time, Liverpool find themselves struggling against a Champions League clash against Real Madrid and at the same time battling a challenge to ensure they deserve the competition.
But Jurgen Klopp ‘s handling of the situation next month will be very different from Brendan Rodgers’ handling of matters in November 2014.
True, comparisons are just a bit unfair. However, there is more than a similar suggestion between the two scenarios.
More than six years ago, Rodgers was embroiled in another injury crisis – this time under attack – which thwarted hopes of keeping up with the top four.
The trip to the Bernabeu came a fortnight after Liverpool were humbled 3-0 at Anfield – the heaviest European loss at home – in their first group stage clash.
And with a home game against Premier League side Chelsea to come a few days later, Rodgers made the awful choice to bring in a number of key players including skipper Steven Gerrard, vice-captain Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, teenager.
While there was some honor in a narrow 1-0 loss, the underage team selection seemed to be conceding against the tournament’s keepers, putting a huge strain on Liverpool’s glorious European reputation.
The gamble went awry on Rodgers, with his team failing to advance from the group and, at least, losing 2-1 to Chelsea three days later. Liverpool finished sixth.
In fact, a straight line can be drawn from that afternoon to Klopp replacing Rodgers as leader less than 12 months later, along with the decisions of both Gerrard and Sterling to seek new grazing next season. summer.
Klopp now has a recognizable position with Liverpool having another grip on Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals next month.
The first leg of the road comes in between games at Arsenal and at home to Aston Villa, major games with the Reds still hoping for a Premier League top four finish.
The Liverpool boss will definitely turn his resources around, after a much stronger squad than Rodgers ever did.
But it is very likely that Klopp will make the same number of wholesale changes in any of these fixtures.
If anything, this is the real game in which the Reds are the strongest. And for good reason.
While all three games represent a way back into the Champions League, the draw for the semi-finals – in which Liverpool link winners take on either Porto or Chelsea – is ‘show that lifting the cup for the seventh time could be easier than lifting the gap bridge to the top four.
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None, however, to be anything but very sad, Liverpool prevented him in Europe by again without the support of their fans, Anfield denied it was a famous evening another would be.
Klopp knows from experience the transformative impact that Real Madrid could have on the Reds.
But while Rodgers’ position helped push his tenure on the path to a border recession, the Champions League’s final loss in 2018 in Kiev gave Klopp’s side the hunger and experience to go further. best next year, again to become world champions and England.
If that was not the case, it showed the final step that the Reds would have to take to demand money.
This time around, Klopp will be hoping Liverpool ‘s latest event meets Real Madrid by being profitable both in the short and long term.