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gkmacca

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Jürgen Klopp happy to use his own brain at Liverpool after split with Zeljko Buvac

Why the manager’s split with right-hand man may well have been a positive for Liverpool
Paul Joyce, Northern Football Correspondent
January 19 2019, 12:01am, The Times

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fe84fcfdc-1b56-11e9-abc2-c39e91e3ea05.jpg

Buvac and Klopp had been a partnership for 17 years until their split nine months agoCATHERINE IVILL/GETTY IMAGES

The trouble with forging a reputation alongside an assistant called the “The Brain” is that the moniker implies a certain level of dependence on that person; that nothing can be achieved without the other.
Jürgen Klopp would never try to rewrite history as to the importance on his coaching career of Zeljko Buvac, his former lieutenant who left nine months ago.

Their partnership was forged when they struck an accord as team-mates at Mainz in the 1990s, agreeing that whoever went into management first would take the other. That arrangement served them well as Buvac became Klopp’s assistant when he began in the dugout in 2001. The pair moved on to Borussia Dortmund in 2008 and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, before arriving at Anfield together in 2015.

The Bosnian-Serb, 57, along with the late Wolfgang Frank who was Klopp’s visionary coach at Mainz, has been the biggest footballing influence on the Liverpool manager. And yet the sudden departure of Buvac last year has not had the derailing affect many expected.

Klopp may have been the one who came up with his former ally’s sobriquet but, as the Premier League table shows, he is proving quite the mastermind.

The reasons behind Buvac’s split four days before the Champions League semi-final, second-leg tie at home to Roma are underwhelmingly mundane. There was no fallout that blew apart a successful 17-year partnership.

At half-time of a goalless draw with Stoke City at Anfield last April, Buvac’s absence as the rest of the coaching staff gathered in an area of the dressing room to debrief was noticeable. He had become distant over a number of months, although Klopp and Buvac rarely, if ever, socialised together, and the downturn became a death by a thousand cuts.

Klopp had done much to make their relationship equal. Liverpool’s players noted Buvac operated at a level above a normal assistant manager, and perhaps Klopp’s willingness to take on new ideas from other staff, together with his heightened profile owing to the cult of the manager in English football, caused the equilibrium to alter. However, that is guesswork because the subject is sacrosanct with Klopp having rendered it off limits out of respect.

Despite so many uncertainties, what is beyond doubt is had Klopp believed his working bond with Buvac remained central to a title challenge or lifting the Champions League, he would have fought more to keep him. In the end, the decision to go was mutual.

Until recently Buvac has officially been on leave, but it is understood his contract has now been settled. His impact, though, lives on. Klopp has learnt from Buvac, whose knowledge of multiple leagues and different systems was considered second to none.

When Mainz adopted a 4-3-3 formation, it was different to the Dutch way of playing with a central striker and two out-and-out wingers. Buvac wanted the players to keep moving around, interchanging, and that blueprint was initially replicated at Anfield.

Liverpool, who play Crystal Palace today, have embraced different methods this term with Mohamed Salah often the spearhead in a 4-2-3-1 system that allows an extra attack-minded player, usually Xherdan Shaqiri, on to the pitch. And without Buvac by his side, Klopp has become more authoritarian and decisive. His backroom staff still contains Peter Krawietz, “The Eyes”, who arrived with Klopp from Dortmund, and Pepijn Lijnders, who returned after a short spell with NEC in the Netherlands after Buvac’s exit.


methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F6cad0804-1b29-11e9-abc2-c39e91e3ea05.jpg

When they were players Klopp and Buvac struck a deal that they would work with each other in managementCHRISTOF KOEPSEL/GETTY IMAGES


However, Klopp does not need to sell his ideas so strongly to them. He respects their views, though there is not the same level of deference as there had been to a man six years his senior. Buvac’s influence on the training pitch was always measured by what he did, rather than what he said, but the practical daily impact has not bit hard.

Klopp is hands-on and has tweaked Liverpool’s playing style this term, displaying his pragmatic side and where the manager would always confer with Buvac before making a substitution, so that responsibility now sits easily. The statistics suggest he is not doing badly on his own. In 2016-17, Liverpool’s substitutes mustered nine goals in 47 games, the next season they contributed five in 56 matches. Already in 2018-19, it is nine in 30 games, including Shaqiri’s two that made the difference against Manchester United.

Last summer, Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, lost Domènec Torrent, his right-hand man, who joined New York City, and José Mourinho saw trusted Rui Faria leave United. Some have coped with the upset better than others. Klopp would not have arrived as an elite coach without Buvac. Now that he is here, he is proving Liverpool have a new brain.
 
Interesting read. Not sure if we have "evolved" since losing Buvac, or simply changed style in a way that needed to happen anyway. Either way, I miss him and wish the split had not happened.
 
Interesting read. Not sure if we have "evolved" since losing Buvac, or simply changed style in a way that needed to happen anyway. Either way, I miss him and wish the split had not happened.

We actually now have a couple of formations which we switch during games. They are new style of plays which could have accounted for the slightly hesitant plays we have seen earlier in the season. We have became alot more cohesive entering Dec, likely because the players got used to the new style of playing. I especially like us tweaking things around at halftime because we generally come out of it better than the first.

It's all on Klopp and his team and nothing to do with Buvac anymore.
 
Jürgen Klopp happy to use his own brain at Liverpool after split with Zeljko Buvac

Why the manager’s split with right-hand man may well have been a positive for Liverpool
Paul Joyce, Northern Football Correspondent
January 19 2019, 12:01am, The Times

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fe84fcfdc-1b56-11e9-abc2-c39e91e3ea05.jpg

Buvac and Klopp had been a partnership for 17 years until their split nine months agoCATHERINE IVILL/GETTY IMAGES

The trouble with forging a reputation alongside an assistant called the “The Brain” is that the moniker implies a certain level of dependence on that person; that nothing can be achieved without the other.
Jürgen Klopp would never try to rewrite history as to the importance on his coaching career of Zeljko Buvac, his former lieutenant who left nine months ago.

Their partnership was forged when they struck an accord as team-mates at Mainz in the 1990s, agreeing that whoever went into management first would take the other. That arrangement served them well as Buvac became Klopp’s assistant when he began in the dugout in 2001. The pair moved on to Borussia Dortmund in 2008 and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, before arriving at Anfield together in 2015.

The Bosnian-Serb, 57, along with the late Wolfgang Frank who was Klopp’s visionary coach at Mainz, has been the biggest footballing influence on the Liverpool manager. And yet the sudden departure of Buvac last year has not had the derailing affect many expected.

Klopp may have been the one who came up with his former ally’s sobriquet but, as the Premier League table shows, he is proving quite the mastermind.

The reasons behind Buvac’s split four days before the Champions League semi-final, second-leg tie at home to Roma are underwhelmingly mundane. There was no fallout that blew apart a successful 17-year partnership.

At half-time of a goalless draw with Stoke City at Anfield last April, Buvac’s absence as the rest of the coaching staff gathered in an area of the dressing room to debrief was noticeable. He had become distant over a number of months, although Klopp and Buvac rarely, if ever, socialised together, and the downturn became a death by a thousand cuts.

Klopp had done much to make their relationship equal. Liverpool’s players noted Buvac operated at a level above a normal assistant manager, and perhaps Klopp’s willingness to take on new ideas from other staff, together with his heightened profile owing to the cult of the manager in English football, caused the equilibrium to alter. However, that is guesswork because the subject is sacrosanct with Klopp having rendered it off limits out of respect.

Despite so many uncertainties, what is beyond doubt is had Klopp believed his working bond with Buvac remained central to a title challenge or lifting the Champions League, he would have fought more to keep him. In the end, the decision to go was mutual.

Until recently Buvac has officially been on leave, but it is understood his contract has now been settled. His impact, though, lives on. Klopp has learnt from Buvac, whose knowledge of multiple leagues and different systems was considered second to none.

When Mainz adopted a 4-3-3 formation, it was different to the Dutch way of playing with a central striker and two out-and-out wingers. Buvac wanted the players to keep moving around, interchanging, and that blueprint was initially replicated at Anfield.

Liverpool, who play Crystal Palace today, have embraced different methods this term with Mohamed Salah often the spearhead in a 4-2-3-1 system that allows an extra attack-minded player, usually Xherdan Shaqiri, on to the pitch. And without Buvac by his side, Klopp has become more authoritarian and decisive. His backroom staff still contains Peter Krawietz, “The Eyes”, who arrived with Klopp from Dortmund, and Pepijn Lijnders, who returned after a short spell with NEC in the Netherlands after Buvac’s exit.


methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F6cad0804-1b29-11e9-abc2-c39e91e3ea05.jpg

When they were players Klopp and Buvac struck a deal that they would work with each other in managementCHRISTOF KOEPSEL/GETTY IMAGES


However, Klopp does not need to sell his ideas so strongly to them. He respects their views, though there is not the same level of deference as there had been to a man six years his senior. Buvac’s influence on the training pitch was always measured by what he did, rather than what he said, but the practical daily impact has not bit hard.

Klopp is hands-on and has tweaked Liverpool’s playing style this term, displaying his pragmatic side and where the manager would always confer with Buvac before making a substitution, so that responsibility now sits easily. The statistics suggest he is not doing badly on his own. In 2016-17, Liverpool’s substitutes mustered nine goals in 47 games, the next season they contributed five in 56 matches. Already in 2018-19, it is nine in 30 games, including Shaqiri’s two that made the difference against Manchester United.

Last summer, Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, lost Domènec Torrent, his right-hand man, who joined New York City, and José Mourinho saw trusted Rui Faria leave United. Some have coped with the upset better than others. Klopp would not have arrived as an elite coach without Buvac. Now that he is here, he is proving Liverpool have a new brain.
Good read - nothing earth shattering though. However WTF is that PS'd photo !
 
Interesting read. Not sure if we have "evolved" since losing Buvac, or simply changed style in a way that needed to happen anyway. Either way, I miss him and wish the split had not happened.
Isn't that 'evolving' ? ;) Would we now be sitting top of the league had Buvac still been here ? Intriguing question.
 
I thought he had died - glad that's not the case.
Wish him luck.
Glad to see we've moved on, and improved, without him.
 
I thought it was a strange article in a way. Joyce shapes it as a kind of insight into what happened and then he admits that only Klopp knows. The only actual detail he gives, about Buvac becoming detached and being uninvolved at half time in that last match, have been well known for many months, so it's not quite what it seems to be. What he could have done is reveal more about Ljinders' increasingly significant contribution.
 
I find it interesting that Klopp has become more versatile in his tactical thinking this season. We're much more likely to deviate from the 4-3-3 that was practically nailed on before. And as this article suggests, Klopp is more decisive when it comes to substitutions. Are these a result of Klopp not relying on the Brain and using his own? I don't know, but whatever is happening, I like it.
 
Doesn't matter much, I suppose, but I'd have been interested to learn what the "underwhelmingly mundane" reasons for the split actually were.
 
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