Jorg Schmadtke not ready to befriend any coaches but his CV shows Liverpool have an expert
Liverpool fans might be surprised to learn that Jorg Schamdtke will be the club’s new sporting director, especially as he retired in January.
But his decision to reverse that trend and return to Liverpool appears to be a formality, with the 59-year-old German traveling to Merseyside to put pen to paper on a short-term deal.
It has been a turbulent time at managerial level for the Reds, with the master of much of their transfer genius, Michael Edwards, making way for Julian Ward, who is now leaving after just one season as manager. jock.
It can’t be much fun replacing a man who secured Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker, and also brought in £137m for Philippe Coutinho, but that will be Schmadtke’s task.
Klopp has described the former goalkeeper as a ‘very successful and smart guy’ and it’s easy to see why with a resume of restoration work.
Beginning his career by taking Alemannia Aachen – a second division side – to the DFB Pokal final and with them to the UEFA Cup in 2004, it was no surprise that Hannover 96 wanted him to provide a similar turnaround, which he managed to do.
The German ‘crisis club’ was pulled out of the Europa League relegation zone, a feat Shmadtke has since repeated with Cologne, albeit from the second tier.
A draw against Arsenal in the Emirates was the pinnacle of success for the Rheinland giants’ new generation of fans, who let their sporting director know how they felt when he left for what they believed to be the Volkswagen money wealth in Wolfsburg.
His first game back at the fierce RheinEnergieSTADION earned him chants of “Schmadtke, crook, take three million and go”, but they were quickly proven wrong.
He went even further with Wolfsburg, moving from the relegation zone to the Champions League, but the task will be quite different at Liverpool as Schmadtke reverses his decision to retire in January.
Especially with a manager in Klopp who has been at Anfield since 2015, a much longer leash than Schmadtke normally gives his head coaches.
“My job is not just about making friends with coaches,” Schmadtke said. “My job is to succeed.”
That was very much the case during his last and most successful job with Wolfsburg, where the team even looked like title contenders at times.
Much of that was down to the hiring of Oliver Glasner from LASK in Austria, with the Tottenham-linked boss winning the Europa League with Eintracht Frankfurt.
However, when disagreements arose over the transfer business, Glasner was fired, which Schmadtke says was not his fault as the Austrian makes similar complaints in his current job at Frankfurt.
Asked about the fallout, Schmadtke replied: “The discussion I’m having with the coaches or not being on good terms with me after 20 years as a manager gets on my nerves.
“I also find it disrespectful to me.
“It is not a logical equation when there is harmony between management and coach and then there is success. Conversely, discord does not mean the absence of success.
On his next appointment, Mark van Bommel, there was neither disharmony nor success, with the former Dutch midfielder’s attritional football lasting just three months at the Volkswagen Arena.
Instead, he turned to a kind of Julian Nagelsmann with youngster Florian Kohfeldt, but it almost ended in relegation.
And when there was an attempt to deflect blame in the ongoing campaign, pundits and former players weren’t happy.
“I’m sure the crisis is not due to the coach,” said experienced Bundesliga coach Peter Neurerer.
“It’s pretty clear what was wrong. It should depend on how the team is put together and by whom.
Klopp will definitely not be fired by Schmadtke(/caption)
Former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel said: “He blames his mistake on the coach (Van Bommel) and I don’t think that’s correct.
“If you get Mark van Bommel, you know what kind of football you’re going to get. Then you get Kohfeldt, who is a mix of Glasner and van Bommel. The team doesn’t know what you really want anymore.
“What bothers me about this is that it is always said that Florian is not to blame, but the predecessor. But you got him. You have a coach who defended a completely different type of football.
These issues won’t be as pronounced at Liverpool, where Schmadtke certainly won’t have the power to sack Klopp, in fact the opposite could be true.
Instead, his last job may give some clues, with Schmadtke grooming his assistant Marcel Schafer to replace him at Wolfsburg, and the team are now back to challenge Europe.
Head of recruitment Dave Fallows was linked with the job Schmadtke is currently in, and with a short-term contract up for grabs it could be the perfect fit to set the Reds up for a bright future.