Liverpool were mocked for appointing a throw-in coach but Jürgen Klopp’s collaborative approach is nothing new
By Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the Ecstasy
It is difficult to imagine Jürgen Klopp squeezing into the narrow confines of the converted broom cupboard that became known as the legendary boot room at Anfield. There would not have been nearly enough space for the backroom staff Klopp has assembled at the club since taking over in 2015. The manager has an assistant for every occasion – including throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark, whose contract was extended by the club this week – but, just like Bill Shankly did 60 years ago, Klopp readily acknowledges the crucial role his supporting cast play in preparing the Liverpool team, admitting he is “nothing without them”.
Shankly knew that feeling. When Liverpool earned promotion from the old Second Division in the 1961-62 season, he was quick to thank his assistants. “Without the help of Reuben Bennett, Joe Fagan, Albert Shelley and Bob Paisley we could have achieved nothing,” said Shankly in an interview with the Liverpool Echo.