Larry Ryan: No matter where you are, Klopp’s your guiding star

We take for granted, at this stage, the wisdom available to us five days a week on Home and Away. But we will not go far wrong taking our life lessons from Summer Bay.

Larry Ryan: No matter where you are, Klopp’s your guiding star

We take for granted, at this stage, the wisdom available to us five days a week on Home and Away. But we will not go far wrong taking our life lessons from Summer Bay.

We have touched here before on the key takeaway, as they say: that we are never more vulnerable than when we are convinced everything is going to be fine now. That the deployment of a search and rescue unit is closest at hand in the days and hours after somebody has made the mistake of expressing absolute contentment with life.

Most of them know by now, in the Bay, that you must always stay on your toes. And they were ramming that message home again this week.

“Do you think there will ever be a time when it doesn’t feel like all of this is going to be taken away?” wondered Tori, out of her coma and nursing the baby she conceived with surrogate dad and undercover ‘Fed’ Robbo, now in grave danger from the murderous criminal gangs that dog this sleepy coastal town.

“You just got to live in the moment,” advised her world-weary brother Justin — another veteran of witness protection — parking for now the pain of his girlfriend’s mysterious disappearance and the ongoing police search.

And it was impossible not to contrast this pair’s alertness to peril with the giddiness evident in men like Sadio Mane just three short weeks ago after Norwich, when Liverpool’s lead swelled to 25 points, and City had just been turfed out of Europe.

There was something in how they giggled that evening, at Carrow Road, even as they said it wasn’t over yet, that told us they couldn’t see how anything would ever again be taken away from them.

It suggested Alf Stewart would soon be rolling out his ordnance maps of the bush in the Surf Club.

And of course it is still all over, in a mathematical sense. But equally something has been lost, and the race is on to find it before the second leg with Atletico.

Essentially, what Home and Away has traditionally done is create the perfect dressing room vibe — establish the sort of environment every manager craves.

Its homely, long-term characters bring a vital sense of stability and familiarity and that essential conviction about the value of community effort.

While round every corner are serial killers and landslides and plane crashes and near-death experiences and hospital sieges. Or a burly lad in a vest roaring, “they’ve found another body, we’ve got to get to the safe house”.

So you live in relative peace but also live in the moment and certainly never take your eye off the ball at Vicarage Road.

The great achievement of Jurgen Klopp is that he bottled this magic, that he harnessed this winning combination for so long.

Kloppo had the balance just right.

The man who learned his English from Friends comes across as someone who’ll be there for you if it hasn’t been your day, your week or even your month. But ruthless enough to pull the plug if it’s not your year.

He stuck to that script this week following the costly mistake made by young Curtis Jones in the FA Cup exit to Chelsea.

“Curtis showed so many things where everybody thought, ‘Wow, what a player’. And then you lose the ball, that’s a learning process. You cannot learn it at home in the living room.”

A reminder he has the lad’s back, but that nothing goes unnoticed.

It contrasts sharply with a very different soap opera in north London, with fewer genial long-serving characters and more explosions and players going under buses.

“Now people can see that he has to work a lot so don’t think that Parrott is the second Harry Kane,” said Mourinho after his 18-year-old’s extra-time cameo and missed penalty, after which Jose admirably resisted the temptation to knee slide down the touchline.

Of course, it is quite the test of dexterity to successfully juggle the pat on the back and kick in the arse.

But there’s a charming, gruff soundness about Klopp that must reassure his players, should convince them that he is coming, fundamentally, from the right place.

Look how he channeled the spirit of Alf this week when taking to task a reporter who canvassed his thoughts on the coronavirus.

“It’s not important what famous people say,” Klopp said, leaving the ‘you flamin’ galah’ implied. In a world that has swapped celebrity for experts, that should go down as Klopp’s free life lesson for 2020.

So you expect Klopp to find the right words ahead of Bournemouth at lunchtime today, and he will need to.

Because a bit like Home and Away, Klopp’s Liverpool need to be really ‘at it’, as they say, or it can all get a bit ordinary.

Indeed the recent struggles of Home and Away only underline Liverpool’s remarkable consistency this campaign.

But after a long, terrible slump where it must have flirted dangerously with relegation from many people’s series links, H&A has finally hit another rich vein of form.

Aside from everything else that’s going on, there’s a bad girl in the Caravan Park.

Easily known there’s a year end finale due soon Down Under.

In recent times, Home and Away has become rather like Arsenal in the final years of Wenger, just about saving the season by getting its act together in time for the run-in.

Mind you, they’d probably take that these days at the Emirates.

Another life lesson from the Bay; you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.

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