Jurgen Klopp was genuinely taken aback recently when, having sent shockwaves through the sport with his announcement that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, it was mentioned to him that Sir Alex Ferguson once called notice on his time at Manchester United — only to change his mind and stay on for… just another 11 years, as it happened.
There is no reason why he should have. Klopp was still getting to grips with his first coaching role, at Mainz in the second tier of the Bundesliga, when Ferguson announced he would step down and retire from management at the end of the 2001-02 season.
As Ferguson put it, it was a “textbook case” of how to “botch” leaving a job — which is perhaps why he did it so differently when he stepped down for real in 2013. It has become rare at the top level for a manager’s departure to be flagged months in advance.
Klopp says he went public because, with the club needing to intensify their search for his successor, it would have been impossible to keep it secret. Now, the noise has started.
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