The Jurgen Klopp effect was on full show as a young Liverpool side beat Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.
Young is an understatement, actually. This was literally the youngest starting XI in Liverpool’s history. A team full of teenagers won the day with a wonderful performance and Neil Critchley deserves huge credit for how he’s coached these kids.
There were several individual showings of note but the key thing here was the team effort. Liverpool controlled the game against far more experienced professionals and just lacked some nouse at the top end of the pitch.
But you should expect that at this level, after all, as there will be things that the players haven’t learned. They certainly learned a few of them tonight, though.
Controlling a game with teenagers is quite remarkable and watching the game you got a real sense of Klopp’s impact. Because the biggest compliment you could pay the youngsters is that they unmistakably looked like Liverpool.
They pressed hard. They mixed up their passing. Even the way Liverpool attacked through their fullbacks was reminiscent of the first team.
Even if Critchley was in the dugout, Shrewsbury faced the Liverpool of Klopp, even if he wasn’t there. More so than in the first game, you’d say.
That one featured senior players coming back from injury that led to a somewhat disjointed team. Tonight, though, Liverpool were Liverpool again.
And that’s incredibly exciting. These youngsters, many of whom look very promising, all know the ‘Liverpool way’ as it now is. If they can perform on nights like this, there’s little doubt they can seamlessly integrate with the first team, too.
It eliminates one of the problems when bringing through youngsters. ‘Yes, he may be good but can he play our system?’
At Liverpool, we know they can. Klopp has united the Liverpool style as a club and it will lead to a very promising future.