The key trait Liverpool are showing again that will alarm Man City and Arsenal
Liverpool have enjoyed a strong start to the season after winning four games so far.
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Jurgen Klopp’s side have begun the season in fine form, winning four of their first five games as they sit just two points off the top of the table. Expectations heading into this season were certainly up for debate given that they went trophyless last season and finished in fifth place, but with what looks like a strong, settled and talented squad, along with a strong amount of experience and belief, they could be on for a successful campaign.
There was a degree of uncertainty heading into this season but their strong start, and the ability to overcome tough moments, reminds me of past successful Liverpool sides who once famously used the phrase ‘mentality monsters’ to explain their incredible runs of form - and they have clearly shown plenty of that already this season. As it stands, since the 17th of April, Liverpool have taken 36 points from a possible 42, beating the likes of Spurs, Newcastle and Aston Villa in what has been a strong run of form.
Past Klopp sides were able to produce incredible runs of form, including losing just three games in two seasons from 2018-2020 and producing a winning run of 26 wins and one draw during the 2019/20 title-winning campaign. This current side has lost a lot of key figures from that time, but the replacements of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo, Dominik Szobozlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo are a strong contingent that could help them challenge once again for major honours.
The most important sign so far for Klopp is that his side seem like a proper side all over again; they’ve had to contend with red cards, conceding early goals, frustrating VAR calls and key players leaving, but they’ve passed every test with flying colours so far. Despite having played with 10 men for over 90 minutes so far, Liverpool still rank sixth in Europe for expected goals and in both games, they’ve overturned one-goal deficits.
Maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised at the turnaround - during Klopp’s seven full seasons at Anfield, Liverpool have recovered 116 points from losing positions and it’s a trait that is still ingrained in this squad, even after key departures. Squad depth is helping to manage such testing situations, with four midfield additions, alongside promoting Jarell Quansah, paying dividends so far.
The tougher tests are on their way and those will tell us whether this Liverpool side are ready and able to deliver. On the horizon is a home game against a bright West Ham side, before two tough away trips to face two of the most in-form sides in the league in Tottenham and Brighton - we can all reconvene after those three games to re-assess Liverpool’s hopes and dreams for the season. But it would be extremely naive to rule out a Jurgen Klopp side.