Juergen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have breathed new life into the England’s top division, and both managers find themselves in the hunt for the Premier League as well as the Champions League. Klopp took over the manager role at Liverpool in 2015 while Guardiola joined Manchester City in 2016. Although Pep has found more success than Klopp since their arrivals, Klopp should be lauded for his ability to turn the Liverpool side into consistent contenders. Yet, for all the success and praise each one is receiving, they may find themselves in new jobs come the start of the next season.
Each manager has their desired style of play. Guardiola employs tactics that utilize the skills of his wider players, which obtain immense quality on the ball as well as the necessary vision to seek out passes into the box. After revamping the defense over the past couple of seasons, Manchester City was able to easily win the Premier League in 2018. Juergen Klopp, on the other hand, has been known to use a more “heavy metal” approach to play, with quick consistent attacking pressure from his skilled front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah.
For all the quality and spectacle that each manager has brought to the Premier League, both may find themselves recruited for manager positions abroad in the quest for new challenges. Juventus and Bayern Munich have been reported as being interested in Guardiola and Klopp, respectively. Pep Guardiola has yet to manage in Serie A, and the Italian league remains one of the only top leagues he has yet to ply his trade. Klopp has been rumored to take over at Bayern Munich ever since his time at Borussia Dortmund. Should either manager find success in either the Champions League or the Premier League, they may elect to undertake a new challenge over the summer.
If either manager was to depart this summer, Guardiola may be the likelier of the two. He may find that he has completed his mission with Manchester City should they finally win the Champions League. Juergen Klopp may be of the opinion that he has finally built a team that can be a consistent Premier League contender and wish to see out the benefit of his laborious endeavor, especially considering how he has added to the Liverpool side over the years.
Liverpool are not necessarily a flashy showboating club, but rather a representation of the blue collar hardworking community of Liverpool. Klopp’s values as a manager give the impression of being in line with those of the clubs he manages, and his previous work at Borussia Dortmund only furthers this idea. Jamie Carragher provided his own thoughts on the speculation surrounding Klopp. He was quoted on Sky Sports as stating, “Jurgen Klopp has only had three clubs in his managerial career, and none of them have been a Bayern Munich-type club…”.
Pep Guardiola has only managed three clubs including Manchester City during his coaching career. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City could be considered the antithesis of the teams managed by Jurgen Klopp. That should not dismiss the honors he has achieved while in charge. The added pressure for constant success and the demand to manage the personalities of top talents should not be underestimated. There have been recent reports that Guardiola has already agreed to replace Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus, which would see the Spanish manager team up with Cristiano Ronaldo. However, it is noteworthy that Guardiola has unequivocally denied the reports stating, “I have two more years, and moving is impossible unless [City] sack me…” Regardless, that will not stop speculation from running wild until the summer window gets under way.
The primary interest in discussing the potential departure of Guardiola and Klopp is the immense impact that both have had not only on their respective clubs, but also on the entire Premier League. English clubs have not been in the Champions League final since Chelsea won it in 2012, that is until Klopp was able to lead Liverpool to the Final in Kiev last year. The title race between Liverpool and Manchester City this season has been the most captivating battle between two clubs since City pipped Manchester United for the Premier League in 2012. The quality of both sides have only forced the other top six clubs to improve their teams by recruiting top talent from Europe. With the steady stream of television money and investment by club owners, the trend of purchasing top quality talent will only continue.
The Premier League would greatly miss both managers should they leave in the near future let alone this summer. For all the speculation, it would tough to see either manager walk away from their posts in the immediate, with the opportunity to cement their reputations as one of their clubs’ best managers.
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