When Jurgen Klopp first took over the reins at Anfield roughly right about this time last year, the former FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund manager seemingly arrived with the task of finally re-establishing Liverpool’s once untouchable dominance among the English top-flight. Although such an ask could never prove wholly straightforward, Klopp was considered the standout candidate for the job as far as the Reds hierarchy were concerned.
And whilst Liverpool didn’t exactly serve to set the Premier League alight under their new enigmatic German tactician last season, the current 2016/17 campaign has so far proven one of great success for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds. The Merseysiders go into the much maligned international break fresh from beating Watford by six goals to one last time out at Anfield, and even though this team have previously struggled to maintain their presence among the upper echelons of the league table on a consistent enough basis, even the most ardent Reds critics out there must acknowledge the current wave of excitement taking place at Liverpool.
Yet does this admittedly talented squad of players really have what it takes to beat the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City to the title this season, or is it simply a matter of time before the bubble bursts for Klopp as the pressures of the English top-flight continue to pile on?
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool going into the international break top of the Premier League like… pic.twitter.com/CFxyKvyvpb
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) 7 November 2016
Well, it’s definitely fair to say that Liverpool have improved a great deal from the days in which Brendan Rodgers would patrol the Anfield dug-out with ambitious, yet often highly flawed approaches in mind. Barring the Luis Suarez inspired 2013/14 campaign down on Merseyside several short seasons ago, Liverpool were ultimately known as little more than overspending underachievers throughout Rodgers’ ill-fated stint at the club.
Now however – with the vast majority of Liverpool’s starting XI seemingly playing their hearts out for Klopp on a week-to-week basis – the Reds currently represent one of the most all-round positive outfits operating among the English top-flight. The new signings seem to have slotted in perfectly, the team are working as a well-drilled direct unit, and the fans look to be singing from the same hymn-sheet for the first time in what seems like an eternity. Much of this progress has been down to the manager.
Whilst the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho were supposedly set to usher a brand new era of top-flight Premier League entertainment for all to behold this season, it is Jurgen Klopp who has arguably developed the most exciting attacking team to watch at this particular stage in the proceedings. In an era where highly-billed top of the table clashes have become characterized by overly defensive tactics and a whole host of equally forgettable stalemates, Klopp’s obvious intention to let the Liverpool fans leave each respective fixture with a burning hunger to return, remains admirable and rather refreshing.
Will Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool remain full of smiles come the final culmination of the 2016/17 campaign? We shall have to wait and see. Major question-marks still admittedly surround the overall capability of the Reds back-four this season – but as football is all about out-scoring the opposition as much as matching them – perhaps the 2016/17 Premier League title really could end up at Anfield in the not too distant future!