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Our view: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain epitomises Liverpool's relentless pursuit of perfection

Liverpool are currently operating at a level the Premier League has yet to see since its origin in 1992.

After a 97-point haul that saw the Reds miss out on the title to Manchester City by a solitary point in 2018-19 campaign, Jurgen Klopp’s team have gone on to claim 64 points from a possible 66 in the top flight this season.

The Premier League champions-elect have won 21 and drawn just one of their first 22 Premier League games, the best start in top-flight history in England. They are currently embarking on a 39 league match unbeaten since losing to City on January 3 last year.

Since March 10, the Reds have registered 91 points from a possible 93. Also, following their previous stalemate with Leicester City 12 months ago, they have won 19 consecutive home games in the Premier League, one short of Pep Guardiola’s record. They have not lost in the league at Anfield since April 2017 – that’s 1004 days ago!

Liverpool’s English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain reacts as he leaves the pitch substituted during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on January 19, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s no surprise then that the players are desperate to showcase their talent in a squad that is littered in world-class talent. One player, in particular, personified this relentless hunger to impress his manager during the 2-0 victory at Manchester United.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s burning desire to succeed in this world-conquering quad was showcased after he struck the seat in front of him in the dugout after Klopp brought him off after 66 minutes of the Anfield win on Sunday.

The former Arsenal star, a £40 million signing in 2017 [The Guardian] knows how limited his time in this team will be if he doesn’t hit the ground running. This is isn’t a criticism of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s undeniable quality but more the difficulty in maintaining the standard of the rest of the team.

His German manager recently came out in defence of his midfielder who could retain his place in the starting lineup against Wolves tonight.

“Oxlade is in a good shape. He’s not [frustrated], he just looks like this. I asked him. It’s all fine”, Klopp told The Echo ahead of Thursday’s visit to Molineux.

“It’s normal that a player wants to play 90 minutes, we have to learn from our own past. Oxlade is an unbelievably important player for us and there are moments in a game when players get a bit tired but they show up again.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 11: Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crosses the ball during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 11, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephanie Meek – CameraSport via Getty Images)

This is currently the England international’s second full season at Anfield after an injury-hit 2018-19 campaign that saw him miss two Champions League finals due to injury. Remarkably, the 26-year-old has only lasted the 90 minutes on one occasion this campaign – and it came in the FIFA Club World Cup win over Monterrey in December.

With Fabinho back on the mend and in the matchday squad for the first time since November, Oxlade-Chamberlain was aware he had to impress. Without even playing badly, the former Southampton star was the harshest critic of his own performance against the Red Devils.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s frustration is testament to the standards Klopp upholds on the squad. The FIFA Coach of the Year demands perfection and if his players feel they are off the mark it weighs on them personally.

Klopp has rallied and united together a group of players that more than just make up a team. The camaraderie and togetherness on display every time they enter the pitch is arguably the greatest quality this winning-machine of a squad possesses.

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