Football Daily | Jürgen Klopp and the prospect of a fittingly chaotic Anfield goodbye

THE WILD BOYS

This was a moment headline writers and social media hacks had been waiting for since January last year, when Jhon Durán crossed the Atlantic to join Aston Villa. It wouldn’t make a great deal of sense with just one goal; he’d have to make it a brace for the whole thing to click together. Moussa Diaby may well have recognised this, too, blasting a pass in the 88th minute at Villa Park on Monday night. All Durán had to do was get in the way and watch the ball bobble off his thigh and past a wrong-footed Alisson to make it 3-3 against Liverpool. Yes, “Durán Durán” inevitably made its way round the World Wide Web, the Colombian forward’s late double surely helping Birmingham’s famed new-wave outfit flog some tour tickets.

For Jürgen Klopp, this was another exhibition of chaos, his side’s attacking thrust cancelled out by a defence leakier than the Old Trafford roof. You have to go back to the blissful days of early March for Liverpool’s last clean sheet in the league, when Darwin Núñez’s 99th-minute header sent Nottingham Forest on one of their temper tantrums. That 1-0 win took Liverpool four points clear at the top, and they still had Big Vase and the FA Cup to play for. Alas, it all came tumbling down – Milk Cup success with the kids will remain the crowning point of Klopp’s farewell tour.

That’s not to say this Sunday, Klopp’s final match at the helm, won’t be a special occasion. This remains the man who turned the laughter over his side celebrating a 2-2 draw against West Brom at Anfield into jealousy as they won the lot. When Klopp inevitably lines up with his players post-match in front of the Kop, eight-and-a half years on from that much-derided linking of arms, he will do so as the manager who brought in a first Premier League title, Big Cup glory after embarrassing Lionel Messi’s Barça, and a silly amount of nervy Wembley wins over Chelsea. But take away the shiny stuff and his stint would still be memorable, such is the joy Klopp’s football brought not only to his supporters but the neutrals, too.

Despite Liverpool’s current unpredictability, the final result against Wolves is rather obvious to our minds: 5-5, replicating Sir Alex Ferguson’s last match in charge of Manchester United away at the Hawthorns. Klopp will inevitably put on a closing show at Anfield (much more entertaining than the £37-a-pop stage-managed event on the docks a week later), letting his boys roam free as they go 5-2 up. Expect Romelu Lukaku Pablo Sarabia to emerge from the bench at half-time to deliver a hat-trick that pegs it back. Nonetheless, Klopp will have a large grin on his face, and a bear hug that turns Gary O’Neil red will follow at the final whistle. There will be final fist-pumps, as well as tears, and there won’t be any kicking off at 12.30pm. The perfect wave goodbye.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I know 100% of Spurs supporters want us to win” – Ange Postecoglou there, with his finger well and truly on the north London pulse before the match against Manchester City.

N17 b@ntz, earlier. Photograph: Matthew Ashton/Corbis/Getty Images

WIN A DAVID SQUIRES PRINT!

Thanks to our friends at the Guardian Print Shop, we are giving away four David Squires cartoons over the next four weeks. To enter, just write us a letter for publication below. We will choose the best of our letter o’ the day winners at the end of each of the next four weeks and that worthy winner will be given a voucher for one of our top, top cartoonists’ prints. And if you’re not successful, you can scan the full archive of David’s cartoons here and then buy your own. Terms and conditions for the competition can be viewed here.

Thanks to our friends at the Guardian Print Shop, we are giving away four David Squires cartoons over the next four weeks. To enter, just write us a letter for publication below. We will choose the best of our letter o’ the day winners at the end of each of the next four weeks and that worthy winner will be given a voucher for one of our top, top cartoonist’s prints. And if you’re not successful, you can scan the full archive of David’s cartoons here and then buy your own. Terms and conditions for the competition can be viewed here.

Re: yesterday’s Football Daily. Yes, that’s clear evidence of a waterfall at Old Trafford. I’d posit an absolute shower most weeks, too” – Stuart Macnab.

Re: your timeline of Kalvin Phillips’ West Ham loan (yesterday’s Hammer Horror, full email edition). You forgot to add the payoff … 8 June: is recalled to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming Euros” – Guy Stephenson.

There has been a lot of talk recently about whether the Premier League actually is the promised land for smaller clubs or whether it is a somewhat poisoned chalice. To answer this, what is the significance of the following numbers: 1, 1, 5, 0, 9, 3, 2, 2? These are the number of wins each of the last 8 Huddersfield Town managers have earned, since putting everything into trying (and failing) to beat Forest in the playoff final. Not very fun to be a team on the way down from the top division” – Sean Brennan.

Send letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. Today’s letter o’ the day winner is … Stuart Macnab, who now has the chance to win a David Squires cartoon from our print shop at the end of the week. Terms and conditions for all this can be viewed here.

The Guardian

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