FIFA will reveal who is their coach of the year on Monday. The awards evening is held in Milan but the shortlist is drawn exclusively from the Premier League and features Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp.
Guardiola, the artist who secured back-to-back Premier League titles with Manchester City, and Pochettino, who turned water into wine at Tottenham in reaching the Champions League final without spending a penny, are both undisputedly rock star managers but the winner should be Liverpool’s Klopp.
He has, by force of personality and skilful man management, created a red monster on Merseyside. After winning the Champions League and losing just one game in the Premier League, Liverpool’s start to this domestic season has been irresistible.
Observing them picking apart Newcastle in second gear last weekend was to watch a bored cat idly toying with a mouse. It was only a question of when, not if, they would put their doomed opponent out of its misery.
The midweek European defeat at Napoli was a surprise but with Liverpool look well set at this early stage of the season to end their 30-year wait for the league title.
If he does then maybe Klopp will view that Holy Grail as job done at Anfield. As might Gareth Southgate with England if they triumph next summer at the Euros.
Of course both men may stay in place until their respective contracts run out in 2022 but by then they will almost certainly be looking for something new.
It might go against the FA’s preference for an Englishman and Klopp might need sunshine breaks during down weeks written into his contract but this is an overseas manager who you suspect would really ‘get’ England.
The more you think about it the better the fit he is to take on the Southgate project.
His record speaks for itself, he is smart, sharp and as a charismatic frontman there is no-one to match him. With his infectious warmth and enthusiasm Klopp is impossible not to like. He is the favourite uncle at Christmas who wolfs down a bowl of pot pourri by mistake with his tenth glass of whatever you’re having and then leads the singing into the early hours. With lovely breath.
Klopp may be a much more gregarious character than Southgate but he shares the Englishman’s knack of striking the right note at the right moment.
There was an example last month after the Super Cup against Chelsea refereed by Stephanie Frappert and her two female assistants when a penalty controversy threatened to surface.
“If we’d have played like they whistled we would have won 6-0,” said Klopp.
Point made. Discussion ended.
Like Southgate, Klopp would make an honourable ambassador for the English game.
He already has a close working relationship with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez – two likely building blocks of England’s defence for the next decade. And you imagine players from other clubs would jump at the chance of working with him.
With the generation he would inherit, Klopp would have a tempting array of tools in his kit box and an England team, with its three-man frontline and fast-paced pressing game, used to playing a version of the style of football he likes.
And maybe with Klopp in charge the numbskulls who still sing dismally of German bombers at England games would finally be shamed into silence.