Liverpool take on West Ham United this Monday, with the game providing a brand new mentality test. The Reds could hit another level if they pass it.
Liverpool head into their next game on the back of something very rare – an actual defeat. Atletico Madrid saw them off in Madrid, holding their nerve for a 1-0 win. Jurgen Klopp’s side just couldn’t find a way past.
This is only the second time all season that Liverpool’s first-team tasted defeat. The last also came in the Champions League, of course, when they lost 2-0 in Naples.
The aftermath of that game was different, though. Firstly, it wasn’t ‘biggest game of the season’ territory and Liverpool comfortably got out of group despite the defeat.
The loss to Atletico was a big one, however. It puts Liverpool in a difficult position and there’s little doubt that it’ll affect the team. Klopp spoke afterwards about that impact and the ‘need to put things right’.
But things were somewhat simpler after the Napoli defeat. Liverpool went right into another big game, this time away at Chelsea. They were never going to lose focus for that and it allowed for an immediate switch of gears.
And even then, Liverpool weren’t in such a routine – not like they are now.
So this game against West Ham is a new mentality test for Liverpool. Can they find their routine again? That mentality that allows them to churn out result after result through their incredible belief?
If they can, then Liverpool may hit a new level. They’ll come out of it knowing full well that a single defeat can’t beat their focus – and that’s the kind of belief that could see them win the lot this season.