When Jurgen Klopp took over as manager at Liverpool FC, it felt like a godsend for Reds fans. Liverpool came so close to winning the Premier League in 2014, under the management of Brendan Rodgers. But things had turned sour for the football club during the 2014/15 season, with the loss of star forward Luis Suarez, the lack of a strong offensive line, and inconsistent play across the board dropping the team to a sixth place Premier League finish.

Following the added departures of Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard and a sloppy start to the 2015/16 season, Rodgers was sent packing, and Jurgen Klopp was brought in to turn things around. Finally, here was some good news. Klopp may have just experienced his worst season at Borussia Dortmund in 2014/15-followed by an understandable resignation and sabbatical-but he is still one of the best soccer coaches in the world. Fans in the Liverpool home jersey 2015/16 felt certain that he would save the day.

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A Disappointing Start for Klopp

Unfortunately, things haven't quite gone the way Liverpool supporters would have hoped. Klopp has instilled a new energy in his team, and the Reds have delivered some exciting games and moments since he was hired. But the march that many were hoping Liverpool would make to the top of the table didn't happen. With more than half of the season gone, Klopp's football team is still languishing in the middle of the Premier League pack.

Klopp, for his part, has given several explanations (or excuses, depending on the perspective) for why his Liverpool team isn't living up to expectations. First, it was the heavy pressure of the Premier League. Then, around New Year's, he brought up England's winds and how they have forced him to adapt his coaching strategy. What's really throwing Klopp off, though, isn't either of these things. Rather, it's the English football's ultra-demanding schedule.

Working to Exhaustion

Just before Christmas, Klopp spoke out about the demanding nature of England's football scheduling. Interestingly, he did not tie the congested scheduling issue with his own club's disappointing performances or injury problems. Rather, he spoke about scheduling in relation to the England national football team and their chances of winning a long-awaited title at Euro 2016.

In Klopp's view, the current England national team is extremely talented, with a slew of "really good players." But most of those players are signed with Premier League clubs-Liverpool included-and the congested scheduling essentially demands Premier League teams to work their players to exhaustion. As a result, England's players won't be as fresh for this summer's European Championship as teams like Germany, whose players enjoy the month-long winter break provided by the Bundesliga.

"You have too many games, that's for sure," Klopp said. "You have no break, too many tournaments."

Klopp isn't wrong. Between Premier League play, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and UEFA tournaments, England's soccer clubs pretty much play from August to May with no substantial breaks. Instead of enjoying a breather over the holidays like every other league, the Premier League doubles down on fixtures for the benefit of at-home TV viewers. Players only really get a break in the summer, and with Euro 2016 on the docket for June and July, they won't even get that bit of rest in 2016.

It's not tough to see that this congested scheduling and lack of breaks has hurt England at summer tournaments. Just look at the national team's win-loss records and overall finishes at recent Euro and World Cup events. Klopp is also seeing the effects of the exhaustive scheduling at Liverpool, though, where he is continually forced to sideline his players for injuries. The only reason the Reds didn't lose to Arsenal on January 13th (and they almost did, tying the score at 3-3 with a goal at the 90-minute mark) was that the Gunners have the same problem. Between them, the two soccer teams had 15 players sidelined-all for medical reasons.

At this point, Klopp essentially has two options. He can throw himself full force into the January transfer market and fill up his squad with reinforcements. Or he can try to devise a way to rotate the players he does have so that everyone gets to rest. With so many games on the schedule, though, this coaching legend can't succeed the way he has before, and that speaks volumes about how punishing the Premier League is for players and managers alike.

What do you think? Would eliminating the League Cup and slashing the Premier League to 18 teams instead of 20 help provide some relief? Or should things stay as they are? Share your thoughts with Soccer Box on social media, we are active on multiple social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Google +.