Liverpool’s squad is littered with natural leaders. Everywhere you look there is someone who possesses the unwavering qualities required to get their teammate over the line.
Jurgen Klopp has harnessed a group that isn’t governed by just one voice but several. The European champions have in their squad players who have captained their national teams including the likes of the Netherlands, Scotland, England and Switzerland.
Whilst the obvious choice of Jordan Henderson and James Milner picks itself in terms of the team’s club and vice-captain, Klopp entrusted the rest of the squad to elect the line of order for the armband.
Virgil van Dijk and Georgino Wijnaldum were chosen to captain the side in the absence of Henderson and Milner. Klopp’s faith in his players to choose their own leaders went against a former tradition with the honour usually bestowed upon the longest-serving player at the club.
However, the manager’s belief in the team typifies the team’s relentless desire across the board to put everything on the line for their fellow player. The player election vindicated what was a bout of Melwood democracy.
These qualities were exemplified in the Reds’ most recent victory at Molineux. When the players lost momentum and were under the cosh there was no outpour of panic but instead an aura of belief. Liverpool backed themselves to once again find a way and it culminated in yet another late goal courtesy of Roberto Firmino.
This was the Reds’ 14th consecutive league victory, a run that stretches all the way back to that single draw in late October, another win in a season of wins – 12 months in which winning now feels an inevitability for Klopp’s unstoppable machine.
Two players who epitomised this unfaltering obsession to never throw in the towel was showcased during Liverpool’s behind the scene tunnel-cam footage ‘Inside Molineux’.
Throughout the 12-minutes worth of footage, there were several examples of Van Dijk and Henderson rallying their troops when the stakes were raised. The pair were even filmed in the tunnel embracing each other following another tireless shift from the Premier League champions-elect.
Had they left Molineux with a draw, against arguably their most challenging opponent in this season of seasons, most would consider that a good result. But, not Liverpool, not Klopp, not this group of players.
The elation on display from the travelling fans was a testament to this unique mentality from a quite ridiculous team. That’s now 22 wins from 23 league matches this season. The title dream is imminent.