Over the years, there have been several examples of successful clubs failing to build on their success, after standing still from a player and staff recruitment standpoint. Crucially, Liverpool don’t want to fall into that trap. So, could a blossoming relationship between Hopp and Klopp see the Reds move to change the structure of their backroom staff?
A potential backroom reshuffle for the Reds?
Back in April 2018, Jurgen Klopp’s long-term assistant manager, Zeljko Buvac, left Liverpool Football Club for personal reasons. Despite Pep Lijnders being promoted to the role following the Serbian’s departure, the six-time European champions may look to further alter their backroom staff in the not-so-distant future, with Max Hopp thought to be keen on once linking up with his fellow German, but this time on Merseyside.
In December 2019, Klopp and Lijnders went head-to-head in a highly-anticipated darting contest, that saw two of Liverpool’s key coaching figures add a new dimension to their competitive relationship, which typically revolves around table tennis.
However, on this occasion, the two were partnered up with a couple of the best players from the modern era of darts in Max Hopp and Raymond van Barneveld. Even though the contest ended in a draw, it was evident throughout that team Germany worked in a cohesive manner that had a clear structure of order, with the 23-year-old referring to the Liverpool manager as the “coach”.
Furthermore, with the Champions League-winning coach declaring his admiration for darts, many believe that there could be scope for the two Germans to develop their working relationship further in seeking to bring more trophies to Liverpool.
The need for change
Moreover, career alterations may be advantageous to all of the parties involved in this potential reshuffle. At the time of writing, Lijnders is widely considered to be one of the leading candidates to replace Klopp as the Liverpool manager when the 52-year-old decides to walk away from the Reds. If Hopp were to take up a role in a coaching capacity at Melwood, it would allow the 37-year-old Dutchman to further his managerial pedigree, given that, in his only position as a first-team manager to date, he was sacked after just one season with NEC Nijmegen.
For Hopp, however, such a position with the reigning champions of Europe would, in theory, enable him to balance his darting commitments with football coaching.
As of the 30th April, the Wiesbaden-born player has yet to win any major trophies during his darting career. That said, he is, at present, among the favorites with darts betting to win the PDC Home Tour. Additionally, having failed to get beyond the last 32 at the PDC World Championships in seven attempts, it may be time for Hopp to shift his sporting focuses to the world of football.
If he were to make the move to Liverpool, the German would be, in one sense, going in the opposite direction to Rafael van der Vaart, who recently competed in the BDO Denmark Open following his retirement from football.
A shared desire for long-term success
Ultimately, the prospect of Hopp taking up a coaching capacity is not beyond the realms of possibility, given his strong relationship with Klopp. The 23-year-old is, by his own admission, an honest talker, which means that he wouldn’t have any issues in setting Liverpool’s title-chasing team clear on various elements of his desired coaching style.
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