Jurgen Klopp will enter his 300th game in charge of Liverpool with the best overall record of any manager in the club’s history.
But as he reaches another milestone at Leicester, the last thing on his mind is his remarkable achievement in eclipsing even Anfield legends such as Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Kenny Dalglish and Joe Fagan.
Klopp has a better win percentage and points per game average than those all-time greats – even Dalglish, whose second spell in charge damaged his own imperious record – but the German coach admitted amid his side’s current slump:
“It doesn’t feel like this in the moment, I can tell you.”
In reaching 300 games he is the ninth longest-serving boss in Anfield history, and his win percentage of 59.2 tops the lot, with Dalglish in his two periods next best with 58.27, Paisley 57.57 and Rafa Benitez on 56.28.
Klopp also has the best points per game record, at 2.01, with Dalglish on 2, using a uniform three points for a win. His teams have also scored more goals per game than any other manager in Reds history.
But even though that record puts him up there with the all-time greats, the Reds boss is aware enough to know that his past results count for nothing, in the ruthless world of football.
“I know that my job is the present and the future and not the past. Game number 300 is very important to me and game 1-299, not a little bit at this moment,” he explained, with just a hint of weariness.
“We know we are not completely clueless when we talk about football. But we know that we have to be successful in the future. That’s what we try.
“So first and foremost, (the record) it’s not really important. That’s something that when I’m not here anymore I will think about the time I had here, not in the moment.”
Klopp’s record at Anfield is historic. It would have been even more mind-blowing though, but for a slump since Christmas which has seen the Champions win just three of their last 11 matches…compared to the same period last season, when they won 10 of 11.
That hiccup at least preserves one of Dalglish’s records, with the Liverpool icon winning 185 of his first 300 games in charge, while Klopp now stands on 179 victories after 299 matches as manager, placing him second on the all time list of those who reached the 300 milestone.
It is this painful run which made the current boss, in typically pragmatic fashion, refuse to even consider his achievement, or records. Instead, he insisted that only one thing counts, and he sent a firm message to his side:
“Even when I know the reason that we are not flying, I expect us to win more football games than we did. That’s what I am concerned about. That’s it.
“I know what the situation is. I’m talking about the results in general. For us we have 15 games to go still. So a lot of points.
“We will go for it and it’s not about where the others will end up it’s just about us and we will try our absolute best to make the best season from now on. That’s our job.”
Klopp has some big decisions to make for the visit to Leicester, with Fabinho ruled out with a “slight muscle problem”. And he must weigh up the claims of new signings Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak in defence. The manager hinted though, that one could start.
“”Calm person, both Ben and Ozan. Willing to learn. Great attitude. They really throw themselves into everything ahead of them, which is what a defender should do – they are making big steps in adapting to the way we play. Again, that’s important.
“We have still a clear way to defend, which is important. If both of them would be on the pitch then there are still nine players used to what we have done before.
“It’s all good so far. Now we have to make a decision. We have to change again because of Fab and now we will see which solution we will take.”