Belfast Telegraph

There's no doubt Jurgen Klopp would be a success in England, says Paul Scholes

By Paul Scholes

When I watch Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund side, I see a manager who is determined to play in his opponent's half, who is committed to attacking football and, from the way he conducts himself on the touchline, is clearly an interesting, charismatic personality.

I watched Dortmund lose away to Borussia Mönchengladbach last Saturday and, even in that defeat, they showed at times what an exciting team they can be.

There is no doubt in my mind that he would be a successful coach in English football, the only question is at which club?

Manchester City is the destination that has been mentioned more than once since the announcement that he is to leave Dortmund at the end of the season, but all the information that comes back to me in Manchester is that Pep Guardiola will take that job when his contract at Bayern Munich expires in one year's time.

Both these men have played a major role in European football over the last six or seven years.

Both of them have won their domestic leagues and, in the case of Guardiola, two Champions Leagues with Barcelona.

They would bring a lot to our Premier League in terms of their personalities, their expertise and the potential rivalries along with some of the big managers who are already here.

I don't think there is a British manager who is currently capable of restoring English clubs to the final stages of the Champions League and winning the competition again.

I take no pleasure in offering that verdict but, unfortunately, it is the way things are at the moment.

I hope that it will change in the future and I have high hopes that my friend Ryan Giggs will be handed the reins at Manchester United at some point having served an apprenticeship under Louis Van Gaal.

After a week of exciting Champions League quarter-finals it has felt like English football is lagging behind the rest of Europe again.

I don't think any of our sides could have lived with Real Madrid in the first half against city rivals Atletico in the Vicente Calderon stadium on Tuesday. It was as much as Atletico could do to hang on.

Klopp has the personality to do it here.

He has bought good players in the past. He does not seem to worry about what is written or said about him. He has been able to handle the constant departures of his best players, many of them to Bayern Munich, over the years - up until this point.

The Premier League should not hold any fears for him.

As for Guardiola, establishing Manchester City as European champions would be bigger than any of the challenges he has faced so far in his career.

I accept that when he took over at Barcelona they were a long way from the side that won the 2006 Champions League.

In Frank Rijkaard's last season they finished third, 18 points behind the champions Real Madrid, but even so Guardiola had a lot of the pieces already in place.

While City have many good players, they have never gone beyond the second round of the Champions League, much less won it. Making them the best side in Europe would be a far more difficult task than doing the same at Barcelona or Bayern Munich, the latter of whom Guardiola took over after they won the Treble.

It would not be easy, but then Guardiola is not there to do the small jobs. He is there to make the difference between a good team and a great team.

I met him when I played a friendly game in Munich last summer and he was a very likeable man who was easy to talk to and like Klopp, his teams play brilliant football.

The Premier League would benefit from these two coaches, but I hope one day we can produce our own too.

Belfast Telegraph


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