Jurgen Klopp stability at Liverpool the envy of their Premier League rivals

ESPN’s Glenn Price reviews Liverpool’s season in which Mohamed Salah won the golden boot with the club also making the Champions League Final.

Whatever happens to Liverpool in the Champions League final, they will be certain of one thing; their manager next season will still be Jurgen Klopp.

That doesn’t seem much to gloat about but the German was the fifth man this decade to hold the position when he was appointed in September 2015.

The Reds were building a little reputation for themselves as a club that hired and fired at will. The former Borussia Dortmund coach has not only reached three finals and come fourth in the league twice — he’s steadied a rocking ship and given Liverpool an intriguing future.

This is in an era when Premier League managers’ employment has never been so insecure, with 15 changes throughout season 2017-18.

That may not be the end of them. Some, like Burnley’s Sean Dyche and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, may still be enticed by other clubs with bigger budgets and ambitions.

Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino also threw down the gauntlet to his boss Daniel Levy to invest and take the fine work he’s already done to the next level. He may still not get the response he wants.

Manchester United came second but there are still snarling references to their playing style and whether Jose Mourinho is the man to revive the United of old.

Liverpool fans can therefore feel very fortunate, not just with an extended season involving a certain clash with Real Madrid in Kiev but with this period of stability.

That was certainly not the case at the beginning of the 2010’s with internal feuding between Rafa Benitez and then-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Liverpool’s whole future had to be settled in court, while a talented group of players were being “guided” by Roy Hodgson. To say they’ve come a long way since would be an understatement. No club in England gives its manager more gravitas than Liverpool.

Another change that seems likely elsewhere is at Chelsea. The revolving door policy for coaches at Stamford Bridge is one that provokes nausea at Anfield, where the overwhelming desire to place their faith in one man has been universal ever since the great Bill Shankly.

A long period in the doldrums was ended swiftly and dramatically by the Scot. Perhaps that led to the man in the hot seat at Anfield being measured for a pedestal more quickly than at other clubs.

Klopp’s excitable persona also taps into the average supporter’s own passion, making him an almost perfect fit. He’s even being mocked in a broadband provider’s TV commercial: “Over to Klopp for a complete overreaction.”

You assume they had to run that by the German beforehand, companies being antsy about anything litigious, which proves he doesn’t take himself too seriously either.

All of which would be completely irrelevant if the football wasn’t good. That has been Klopp’s major selling point; at times it is sublime, and 134 goals this season — so far — is testament to how exciting it’s been.

He’s created an excellent platform on which to build further, but that’s where most fans know it has fallen apart in the past; under Benitez, under Gerard Houllier, even under Roy Evans and Brendan Rodgers.

Good progress often leads to increased demands, even for a club that’s just reached its first Champions League final in 11 years. Supporters of major clubs can acclimatise so quickly but woe betides anyone who dips below a recently acquired high standard — even if you are the manager that brought it about.

In a way Klopp is helped by the bewilderingly lofty standards set by others. Chelsea won the 2016-17 title with 93 points; dizzying enough, but Manchester City have gone beyond even that with 100 points this season.

Only the churlish and immature could possibly expect their team to emulate such totals. In the years immediately after Liverpool relinquished English domination, it was still felt their manager had to win the league or he was out.

Gradually that was believed to be somewhat harsh, but being champions was still the ultimate goal. Liverpool never sack a manager that’s improving the team, and Klopp will be no exception. These are exciting and surprisingly stable times therefore for Liverpool supporters, but experience indicates that might not last very long.

There is never any settling at Anfield, which is perversely why the manager’s job there can still attract someone as talented and ambitious as Klopp clearly is in the first place.

This moment of clarity, satisfaction and unanimity does not come along very often in the modern era. Like the Champions league final, it needs to be savoured and enjoyed by squeezing every last drop of happiness out of it.

Mindful of his poor record in finals, this is a pivotal week for Klopp but he will be buoyed by the knowledge that for now his position at Liverpool is enviably secure.

Steven Kelly is one of ESPN FC’s Liverpool bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @SteKelly198586.