Dave Davis explains how Liverpool has made progress under Jurgen Klopp, but not in a way that you’d expect.
Just over a year into his tenure, everything is looking rosy under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp. The team is playing well, scoring goals and we’re finally on a winning run after what seems an eternity.
There’s still a long way to go though and it was telling in how definitive Klopp sounded when stating he wouldn’t celebrate his anniversary.
The German said, “It’s a year, I’m a year older and all this s**t, but everything else is good. Not perfect, but in a good way. That’s what we hoped, that’s what we said.” The transformation is underway, just maybe not in the order we expected.
When he was appointed as Brendan Rodgers successor, the majority expected a change similar to what occurred at Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp cleared out the ‘deadwood’ after a year and it was the defence which saw major changes. In came a young Subotic, Santana was added, Schmelzer promoted from the youth side and Sahin brought back from loan. There was a natural expectation that a poor Liverpool defence would be his first priority.
A year in and there are still questions about our back line. James Milner is playing left back and only Swansea have a worse record from set pieces than the Reds in Klopp’s first year. At the end of last year, he was quick to comment that ‘it feels like 98% of our goals are conceded from set pieces’ and it seems hard to disagree. There have been improvements, though.
Joel Matip looks a real centre-half and is surely the first name in Klopp’s back line. Emre Can had mentioned that the manager had already told him of hush admiration for the 24-year-old and it’s easy to see why. It’s too early to make any judgement on Loris Karius and who’d give bets on us grinding out victories away at Chelsea and Swansea like we did if you’d seen us last season? That’s progression alone.
It’s at the other end where the real transformation has taken shape. Liverpool is the joint highest scorer in the league to date and we finally have a side that isn’t blunted by the loss of Daniel Sturridge. Firmino is reborn after his dismal start under Rodgers, Coutinho has moved onto another level and it’s hard to believe that Adam Lallana is even the same player. Add in Mane and there are goals and creativity from all angles.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and Klopp may need another year before he gets the personnel and style he really wants. The signs are good, though and it’s been pleasing how we do seem to be the great entertainers right now, despite what Mandy’s Initial expectations may have been.
Progress is progress and Klopp has improved us in all areas. Just because it’s not in the exact order we expected doesn’t stop it being anymore pleasing.
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