Contact Us
Top banner desktop

The secret behind the success of Liverpool and Tottenham

Liverpool and Tottenham made to the finals of CL. This success could be related to the philosophies of Klopp and Pochettino that tactical greatness can elevate players above the levels of quality they are expected to reach.

Last updated: 01.06.2019
Klopp and Pochettino | Sports Social Blog

Get 100% Deposit Bonus on Bilbet

Exclusive bonuses and freebets available in IPL 2024. Turn your Cricket Knowledge into Money!

Back in September 2018 when the UEFA Champions League commenced, the footballing fraternity all over the globe could be heard debating over which team would halt Real Madrid from gunning for a fourth successive league title.

Juventus were being jotted down as the massive favourites to do so, with former Los Blancos talisman Cristiano Ronaldo having just joined them in the summer. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi had already laid a promise at the Nou Camp to bring the European trophy home as Neymar and co dreamed of ending their round of sixteen misery and lifting the glorious accolade for the very first time. Pep Guardiola's Manchester City looked menacing and invincible like never before, making everyone think this might be finally the year when they lift the one trophy that has eluded them all these years.

A rollicking nine months later, Liverpool and Tottenham have overcome every challenge to book the berths for the final showdown in Madrid. The Merseysiders had a fair claim to the title, having finished runners-up in the previous season - but none in their wildest dreams could have imagined Tottenham making it to the title decider and confirming an all-English final.


Millions have been left agape in the light of the two English teams and may have fathomed why the usual contenders like Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain failed to make it to the ultimate level.

It's easy to know why football millennials place their money on either of the three aforementioned teams to win the Champions League, knowing the giants they possess. However, Liverpool and Tottenham have proven that a solid system is bedrock to forging a title-winning team - something the usual contenders seemed to lack this season.

Meaning no disrespect or criticism to the likes of Ernesto Valverde, Massimiliano Allegri or Thomas Tuchel - these tacticians are greats in their own right. However, a reason why Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino have prevailed every battle is because of their insistence on being independent of their stars.

Make no mistake, both the Klopp and Pochettino have gone four and five years without a title respectively. The secret in their success lies in the fact that they have built a team - albeit not a star-studded line-up - of players that are tailor-made to suit their philosophies. It is the ability of the team to take mammoth responsibilities in the absence of their superstars that has seen them withstand every tall challenge successfully.

Without Harry Kane, Son Heung Min took to the mantle and rose magnificently to the challenge against Manchester City in the quarterfinals, scoring three goals in a 4-4 aggregate scoreline.

When Mauricio Pochettino counted on him, Fernando Llorente didn't disappoint; the 34-year-old was a menacing presence in the air against Ajax and scored the final goal against Man City that all but confirmed their advent to the Champions League semifinals.

Again in the second leg against Ajax when even Son found it difficult to break the deadlock, Lucas Moura came out of the syllabus to net a hattrick with the aid of Delle Alli, who provided two assists in the 3-0 victory. Praise must also be reserved for Moussa Sissoko, who has exceeded expectations by pulling out eye-catching performances none would have expected of him in the wildest of their dreams.

In the absence of Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino, it seemed nigh impossible for the Liverpool supporters to even dream of their boys clawing back against the mighty Barcelona at Anfield. And yet, a certain Giorginio Wijnaldum said otherwise, scoring a brace in three minutes and igniting hopes of a comeback amongst the Merseysiders faithful. Enter Divock Origi, the man who scored the remaining two goals to stage a historic victory that will go down as one of the most talked-about triumphs in the years to come.

The striking feature that defines both Liverpool and Tottenham is how their managers have prioritized building a strong system that displays versatility and encapsulates the plus points of each player in a manner beneficial to the team as a whole. Pochettino and Klopp have moved away from the idea of building a system around one man - the very ideology that has been manoeuvred at teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or Paris Saint Germain. The mainstream idea of not having a plan B when plan A fails is what has caused miseries to the aforementioned heavyweights.

Having Ronaldos and Messis in a line-up is a blessing of course, albeit one that comes with drawbacks of its own. Having relied the season entirely on Lionel Messi to win the Champions League, none of the attackers came to the fore when he had an off day at Anfield. Similarly, Ronaldo's hattrick against Atletico Madrid had sent the fans and the players soaring high, but they were brought back to their senses when Ajax stunned them by winning the quarter-finals tie. The absence of Neymar against yet again proved influential as PSG failed to protect a valuable 2-0 away lead against a Man United who had probably fielded their weakest team in the entire season.

The presence of men like Pochettino and Klopp still safeguards the fact that tactical greatness can elevate players above the levels of quality they are expected to reach, while dependency on individuals can hardly help in winning silverware in the long term.

Top banner desktop

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.