A relentless Liverpool continues in their search for more glory despite all odds being against them as they attempt to enter an exclusive club of winning back-to-back Premier League titles. Only both Manchester clubs and Chelsea have achieved that feat.
Mentality Plus Intensity
Liverpool’s intensity and everlasting mentality are one of the main effects Jürgen Klopp has brought into this team. The German manager has provided the fans with an incredible team filled with superstars and great squad depth.
The Reds’ 2020/21 season has just begun but it has already put them to the test and had them up against the wall. Liverpool is still standing, though. Not only did they face a difficult schedule, but they also went through tough games without some key players. On October 17th, Liverpool had their most difficult game this far this season.
Injuries Become a Trademark to Liverpool’s Season
Visiting Goodison Park is never an easy task but Everton under Carlo Ancelotti are a much different proposition. Liverpool fell just short of taking all three points but took a big morale hit because of the VAR decisions and most importantly, the injuries to Thiago Alacantara and Virgil van Dijk. It was to be a season-ending injury for the stalwart defender after a vicious slide kick from Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Without their star centre-back, Liverpool’s injury crisis took off. Injuries continued to haunt the roster and tallied up after every game and training session.
The Art of Gegenpress
The intensity of the schedule and the rhythm of every game in Europe’s top-flight competitions may be one reason for all the injuries sustained at Liverpool. Another factor may be Klopp’s frantic style of play and tactics, known as “Gegenpress.”
It requires the team to constantly pressurise their opponents from the top of the pitch to the bottom. The constant pressure allows the team to build traps for their opposition which saw them become successful in England and Europe. After 30 years of suffering, the Reds were able to take the prestigious Premier League trophy back to Anfield.
Other than the injuries to Van Dijk and Thiago whose injuries were inflicted by the opposition, the rest of the injury list contains players, such as Fabinho, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita, all who have injuries relating to body fatigue issues.
However, Liverpool’s performances have not dropped despite every obstacle thrown their way and continue to pile on victories against tough opposition. After defeating Leicester City 3-0, Liverpool set a new record at 64 unbeaten league games at Anfield. Klopp has brought back that same spirit previous managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley had instilled in the club and have transformed Anfield into a fortress, despite playing without the fans due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Not only do Liverpool continue to win but they usually dominate their opponents and erase them from the pitch, as seen against Leicester and even Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Klopp Effect
Undoubtedly, there is so much more to Liverpool’s recent success than just their prolific players. There is something in the air at Anfield, and even before at The Melwood Training Centre and now at the Kirkby Training Complex that pushes every player to the next level and keeps them hungry for silverware. The team does not need to buy players in every transfer window but when they do invest in them, they tend to make the most of it. Diogo Jota was bought and wasted no time to make his presence felt. He has hit the ground running and scored seven times already this season.
The aura around Liverpool has changed where they have gone from being loved to being hated for winning. They have already won every major competition but their motivation perdures. Certainly, Jürgen Klopp deserves a lot of praise for this as his dynasty at Liverpool becomes impactful but could Wednesday night’s shock defeat in the UEFA Champions League to Atalanta be a sign of things to come?
Will Liverpool finally suffer the effects of injuries? Or will they keep their streak going? Are they serious contenders on the long run? Only time will tell…
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