Borussia Dortmund’s announcement that Jurgen Klopp, the poster boy for football hipsters the world over (until he got too mainstream, of course), will leave the club at the end of the season has ignited a furore of speculation across international sports pages as to where the German will go next.
His is a name that has allegedly appeared towards the top of all the shortlists the biggest bigwigs in the game have drawn out when recruiting a new manager, with a fierce volume of whispers suggesting he’ll be in line to replace Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City at the season’s end.
Despite being 5/4 favourites to employ Klopp next, the Citizens have since distanced themselves from such rumours and it’s a course of action all of their rivals at the Premier League’s summit must follow.
As unarguably impressive as his consecutive Bundesliga titles with Dortmund were, he achieved them in a country housing one of the most notoriously volatile and unpredictable leagues in European football.
FC Bayern Munchen are the one constant when looking at Germany’s top tier roll of honour, winning the title 24 times.
A variety of names punctuate the Bavarian behemoth’s multitude of triumphs; they come along, claim a solitary crown then disappear from contention.
Some of the sides to have done so this century include Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Werder Bremen.
Teams of this stature, comparable in size to the likes of Everton, West Ham and Newcastle, couldn’t expect to savour success in the Premier League, where there are many superpowers to contend with, as opposed to one.
As these unanticipated champions will attest, it’s far easier to wrestle one heavyweight than four or five.
Because Klopp successfully took the Bayern beast on twice, it in no way guarantees he’ll be able to compete with the many fearful factions dwelling in the Premier League’s upper reaches.
His most recent record isn’t that of an elite manager either.
The majority of Die Schwarzgelben’s disastrous 2014/15 campaign has been spent in the bottom half, with an outrageously large segment of it anchored to the foot of the table.
Such a dismal showing can’t be mitigated by the size of Klopp’s squad or budget either; both are second only to Bayern’s.
Their woeful league showing is evidence that the hyped German tactician isn’t adept enough to handle the departure or aging of key men or opposition acclimatising to his system.
An ability to cope with such cycles and sustain success is what separates the good managers from the great.
Klopp has seen his finest assets leave for richer pastures ever since his first title win in 2011/12 and his track record of spending the money his star players generate isn’t especially favourable.
The above quartet are some of his more pricey purchases, with record buy Henrikh Mkhitaryan a spectacular disappointment.
This season the Armenian has scored just one Bundesliga goal and assisted one less.
Robert Lewandowski’s two replacements Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos have celebrated five league strikes between them and centre-back Sokratis Papastathopolous has overseen two divisional clean sheets this term.
Klopp earned his stripes in the transfer market through recruiting undervalued, low-budget players then motivating them to achieve their potential and beyond.
Lewandowski is one example of this, but the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Nuri Sahin are more obvious cases.
Both promptly earned recognition as world-class operatives under the esteemed coach’s guidance, but were unable to replicate their phenomenal form upon moving to Manchester United and Real Madrid respectively for megabucks.
The pair are now back in the Dortmund ranks, where they’re striving to restore former glories that are forever one game away.
German managers in the Premier League are notable by their shortage, with Felix Magath the only expat to have had a crack at Blighty’s top flight.
As if a reminder was required, the above image denotes what a bona fide catastrophe his stint at Fulham was, where talk of player unrest at his gruelling fitness regimes, bizarre training sessions and incarceration-worthy injury-healing techniques (he reportedly told Brede Hangeland to rub cheese onto a twisted ankle) was rife.
The only English manager to have a crack at the German equivalent was Steve McClaren, when he replaced Magath at the Wolfsburg helm in 2011.
A tough act to follow, the bespectacled former Cottagers chief had led Die Wolfe to their first and only Bundesliga title the season before and when it became blatant the current Derby boss wasn’t going to repeat the trick, or even come close, he was rapidly dispensed with.
Seven victories were all he could muster with the team that was crowned the best in the land just a few months prior.
If there was ever conclusive proof that German coaches are not suited to the English top tier and vice versa this, ladies and gentlemen, is it.