Last season proved to be an eye opener Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp as he saw his sides collapse around a busy New year period.
Going into 2017 Liverpool appeared to be Chelsea’s closest rivals for the Premier League crown but a disastrous start to the year left any chance of catching the eventual winners in tatters. The Reds were looking like a threat initially, but they went on to struggle with the demands and a winless month proved costly. In fact, January was so damaging to Liverpool that they actually ended the season scraping themselves into Champions League qualification after a late rally by rivals Arsenal.
A dip in form which allowed several relegation candidates to take crucial points away from Klopp’s outfit left the Anfield faithful with nerves until the final moments of the season. Two teams that went on to suffer the fate of relegation Sunderland and Hull City both denied Liverpool three points in January with the latter stunning them by clinching all the spoils in a 2:0 home victory at the KCOM.
After last season’s New year misery Klopp seems to have learned from his mistakes and in recent months Liverpool have been very much impressive, their latest win a 7:0 thrashing of Russian side Spartak Moscow to top their Champions League group. Unbeaten since their disappointing showing at Wembley in October where they lost 4:1 to Spurs, the German manager has opted to use the full squad available to him in recent weeks often making several changes in order to keep his side fresh.
Earlier in the season Liverpool fans seemed to be frustrated with Klopp’s faith in his defenders and the fact that they missed out on signing Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton. The German responded by backing his defenders and his continued to show faith with his squad. No more so than left-back Alberto Moreno who has been in fine form this season after seemingly being frozen out last campaign when James Milner was asked to convert from midfield to fill the void. Klopp chose to address his left-back options in the summer and acquired the signature of the Scottish full-back Andy Robertson. It seems the competition has very much proved useful and has given him a selection dilemma!
Going into January this year Liverpool are in arguably their best form of the season. A period that has seen them score an impressive 32 goals in just nine games. Along with a defence that has been heavily criticised in recent months slowly looking more reliable, with the collapse in Sevilla the only real issue in their nine game unbeaten run. A run which has seen them beat some lower league opposition comfortably, which last season proved to be another problem, this seems like it may have been rectified by changes in formation when needed as well as the addition Mohamed Salah lighting up the division. Klopp will feel fairly pleased as things are currently, the only slight concerns being injuries to Alberto Moreno as well as Joel Matip. However, with an improved squad compared to last season and no African cup of nations taking place he will be most likely satisfied with his side’s potential this season. Of course, it is going to be incredibly difficult for any team to compete with Manchester City in terms of the Premier League title but there is still the opportunity to improve on last seasons fourth place finish. As well as a Champions League round of 16 tie to look forward to. Their opponent will be revealed Monday when the draw is made.
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