Football journalist Raphael Honigstein gains exclusive access to family members, friends, colleagues, players and club bosses to detail the life and career of current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Most football fans love Jurgen Klopp. I’m certainly one of them. And no, I’m not a Liverpool fan! His infectious personality, touchline antics, sense of humour and bright, beaming smile make him instantly likable, while the exhilarating football his teams play can only be admired.
Klopp is arguably the only top-level manager in football who has departed each of his clubs to a hero’s send-off. Part of that can be attributed to the on-field progress he has inspired, but it is equally down to the strong emotional bonds forged between Klopp and the club: the players, staff, executives, and of course the fanbase.
So what is it about the Klopp charm that draws people in? And how big has his impact been on the German football landscape?
Influential German football writer Raphael Honigstein reveals all in Klopp: Bring The Noise. From his early life growing up in the picturesque setting of the Black Forest, where his demanding, sports-obsessed father imposed an early competitiveness in the young Jurgen, through to his second-tier playing career and on to football management with Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.
We hear exclusively from the people who have influenced Klopp’s life and career, and in return those who have been impacted by his presence in their lives.
Part of what endears people to Klopp is his football journey, which not only has plenty more in common with the regular fan but has also played a key part in shaping his philosophy and outlook on football. After all, this is not a man who grew up in the bubble of an elite club, but someone who struggled to make ends meet playing second division football; who despite becoming one of the world’s great managers, initially stumbled into management as a short-term solution.
Bring The Noise takes us on the inside of Klopp’s life and career, providing constant anecdotes of the supersized personality that would have such a lasting impact on German football. It provides a fascinating insight into Klopp’s life as a footballer and arguably the most important chapter of his playing career: the time spent working under Wolfgang Frank.
But it is the chapters dedicated to Klopp’s management career that are the highlights of Bring The Noise. His trademark gegenpressing style is famous across the world, but when he introduced it as a novice coach at Mainz – building on the similar strategy deployed by his mentor Frank – it was met with derision by German football.
That was until on-field success followed as Klopp led Mainz from perennial second division club to Bundesliga and Uefa Cup participants. Results may have endeared Klopp to the Mainz faithful during his seven years in charge, but it was his wholehearted dedication to every aspect of the club and community that earned him God-like status.
Bring The Noise highlights the special relationship Klopp had – and continues to have – with the people of Mainz. We hear from sporting director Christian Heidel and former players such as Neven Subotic, who would follow Klopp to Dortmund, to gain an understanding of Klopp’s levels of dedication and his working methods.
The same can be said of Klopp’s seven-year spell at Dortmund, during which time he established himself as an elite-level coach. Similarly strong bonds were formed between manager and club as Dortmund embarked on the most exhilarating spell in their history. Again, Bring The Noise sheds light on the club’s inner workings under Klopp and we hear from CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and players like Mats Hummels and Nuri Sahin.
Bring The Noise then takes us up to the end of the 2017 season and Klopp’s first years at Liverpool. His hiring process in 2015 is explained in full detail by Mike Gordan, president of Liverpool owners FSG. Once again, just like he achieved at Mainz and Dortmund, Klopp has set about implementing a culture at Liverpool that has brought magic back to the club and made fans fall in love with their manager.
And that is very much what is at the heart of Klopp’s success and what Bring The Noise does so well to convey: the magic, the romance, the passion that indelibly links Klopp to clubs.
Honigstein does plenty of justice to the Klopp story on the pages of Bring The Noise, and football fans the world over will understand a great deal more about the “Kloppo effect” and the man responsible for creating it.