Jurgen Klopp’s insatiable desire to improve is part of the reason for Liverpool’s current form, as the German coach seeks to bring more attacking flair to Anfield.
Having scored 30 goals in their opening 11 Premier League matches, it seems strange for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to claim that the side needs to strengthen in attack in order to achieve a top-four finish, never mind maintain a title challenge.
But with Liverpool being linked this week with FC Rostov forward Sardar Azmoun, it’s clear that Klopp is not content to rest on his laurels, as the Premier League title race looks to be closer than ever this season. The German has cited the recent injury to Danny Ings, as well as the impending departure of Sadio Mané to the Africa Cup of Nations in January, as reasons to strengthen the Red’s attacking options.
Klopp’s desire to achieve perfection – or as close to it as possible – is undoubtedly one of the key reasons for Liverpool’s recent form. Towards the end of last season, both Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi were firing on all cylinders, and the temptation for Klopp may have been to place his trust in those two, and simply add more back up players to the squad.
However, the signing of Sadio Mané for £34 million was a clear message to Sturridge and Origi that no player is assured of his place. Mané has established himself as a key member of the starting eleven, alongside Firmino and Coutinho, leaving Sturridge and Origi to fight for the scraps.
What’s clear is that Klopp is never satisfied with what he’s got, and that he will constantly strive to improve, has rubbed off massively on his players. Adam Lallana, a player who often cut a forlorn figure under Brendan Rodgers, has blossomed under Klopp’s management, and has found a level of consistency which eluded him previously at the club.
Indeed, it could be argued that part of Rodgers’ failure at Liverpool was his over-reliance on what had worked in the past. When Luis Suarez left in the summer of 2014, Rodgers placed his faith in Sturridge and Sterling to continue their form of the season before, and also to replace the goals and flair of the Uruguayan. Similarly, Rodgers held faith in an ageing Steven Gerrard in that 14/15 season, simply expecting the team to perform to the same levels as the year before, despite losing key components to team.
There is no danger of Klopp making those mistakes. In every post-match interview, the German is never fully satisfied. Liverpool’s defensive frailties continue to be a problem – while scoring 30 goals this season, they have also conceded 14, the most among the top 7 sides in the table. Klopp’s annoyance at the concession of even a single goal, despite scoring six at the other end, speaks of a man who won’t be content until every aspect of his team is to his exact tune.
While Rodgers’ before may have relied on the past repeating itself, it’s clear that Klopp won’t make that mistake. No matter how many goals Liverpool score, or how many trophies they go on to win under the German, it’s clear that Jurgen Klopp will always find room to improve, and always strive to make Liverpool the best they can be.