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Hero worship of Jurgen Klopp does him -- and Liverpool -- a disservice

It might be time to revive "Being Liverpool." The much-derided behind-the-scenes-at-Anfield television series was conceived and created four years ago, the last time Liverpool reached two cup finals. It failed because the central character, Brendan Rodgers, came across as a smug spouter of clich├ęs and management-speak. His sidekick, the risible managing director Ian Ayre, posed on a motorbike. It was the wrong vehicle: This was car-crash TV.

There is a genuine superstar at Anfield now. Jurgen Klopp has real star appeal. He is watchable, charismatic and the cameras love him.

Klopp dazzles. He is fun. The German is animated on the sidelines, quick with a quip and has a winning smile. A winning team would add to his lustre.

In 2012, Kenny Dalglish won one of his finals, delivering the League Cup and a Europa League place to Anfield, but only managed an eighth-place finish. He was summoned to Boston by Fenway Sports Group, the owners, for a post-mortem after the season and sacked. There is more chance of a "Being Liverpool" revival than Klopp being treated in a similar manner.

Yet there is a case for holding an inquest into Liverpool's performance since Klopp took over from Rodgers in October. Klopp, 48, has had a huge emotional impact on the mood of the club but the feel-good factor has not been reflected on the pitch. Liverpool finished the season with the same number of points as the previous campaign and in the same position: eighth.

Klopp is clearly an upgrade on Rodgers but that has barely shown in results. He had 31 Premier League matches to organize and inspire the team. Before Klopp, the team were averaging 1.5 points per game. After the German's arrival that figure rose to 1.6.

It is true the squad that Klopp inherited is substandard but top-class managers find ways of covering weaknesses and promoting strengths even where they lack quality in the squad. Leicester City are a prime example of how a team can become greater than the sum of their parts. Liverpool rarely looked like that.

No one should judge Klopp until he is able to recruit the sort of players he can trust but it is a surprise that he was unable to adapt the players bequeathed to him into a more cohesive unit. After all, when he arrived in October Klopp was optimistic enough about their prospects to suggest to FSG that the team could compete for all four trophies available to Liverpool. The new manager soon found out that any hope of a title challenge was illusionary.

If Klopp is building a team to play in his trademark gegenpressing style, that is fine. Yet at some point opposition managers will work out a way to nullify his tactics. There have been few signs of pragmatism and flexibility from the manager in his first eight months in charge.

Klopp's disciples -- and the deification of the man is so strong that it justifies the use of the word -- point to the two cup runs this year as proof of forward motion. That overlooks that Liverpool reached two semifinals in Rodgers's final season and were somewhat unlucky to lose to Chelsea in a two-legged League Cup tie.

The other semifinal, in the FA Cup against Aston Villa, was one of the most shambolic performances in recent Liverpool history. It was only slightly worse than the second half of the 3-1 defeat by Sevilla in Basel last week. While Rodgers stood watching haplessly and hopelessly at Wembley, his successor reacted to the Spanish side's goals and dominance by trying to rouse the crowd. Any post-season inquest should be focused on this moment and the owners should be asking why their manager was not concentrating on rousing his team. Connecting with supporters is one thing, but Klopp's attention should have been on the pitch. He looked like a man devoid of ideas.

The suspicion is that FSG are so in thrall to their manager that few tough questions will be asked this summer. That can never be good for the man in the dugout. Arsene Wenger's total control over Arsenal has yielded a splendid cash flow at the Emirates but only two FA Cups in the past 11 years. It took Sir Alex Ferguson 15 years and unparalleled success at Old Trafford to get anywhere near the hero-worship that the Liverpool manager has been granted like a birthright.

Klopp is a brilliant acquisition for Liverpool. He was the best manager available to the club. He needs time to get things right and has many of the hallmarks of someone who can join Anfield's pantheon of greats. It may take the entire length of his three-year contract to turn things around.

Yet the absence of proper analysis of his first part-season is worrying. If they were making "Being Liverpool" now they would probably call it "Being Klopp". The deification of the manager shows how far standards at Anfield have fallen -- and the huge job he has ahead of him.