Liverpool completed a season’s worth of Premier League games under Jürgen Klopp with a disappointing draw against arch rivals Manchester United, but there’s no doubt that the Reds’ hopes and ambitions have been significantly lifted since the arrival of the charismatic German.
The first 38 league games of his Anfield reign gleaned 65 points and the equivalent of a sixth place finish in last season’s table. That is four points more than those gained in the first 38 games under previous boss Brendan Rodgers.
Due to the attacking style that has become a Klopp trademark, it’s somewhat surprising that his charges have scored only two more goals, in this initial period, than the Rodgers Reds (73 compared to 71). Further evidence the current team is still a work in progress lies in the fact Klopp teams have totalled 654 shots on goal whereas they accumulated a total of 739 shots in the equivalent 38-games under Rodgers.
In notable contrast to the current Celtic boss, Klopp is not relying on any one player for his goal scoring options. He has a proven commitment to the team rather than the individual effort. Previously, with Luis Suarez having left and Daniel Sturridge injured, only eight goals were scored in Rodgers’ final eight games.
This season, although Sturridge and Divock Origi are regularly on the subs bench, Liverpool have scored more goals in the opening two months of the campaign than in the last 90 seasons. Moreover, their 18 league goals have been scored by seven different players.
In last season’s 38 games, only seven players scored more than two league goals. This season, after only eight games, five players have already scored more than once.
Beyond the bare facts and figures though, just what has the German achieved in this first 12 months at Anfield? Writing in the Liverpool Echo, columnist Jim Boardman found it difficult to find a concise answer:
“Well, where do you start? On the pitch or off it? The big, obvious, differences or the subtler ones? Basically, how long have you got?!
“It’s a difficult question for any Liverpool fan to answer without sounding like a member of a brainwashed cult or a teenager writing fan mail to their pop star heartthrob.
“Klopp has transformed Liverpool Football Club in so many ways – and he might even be on the verge of transforming English football.”
Regularly the most tweeted about manager on the Premier League Social Index from 888Sport, it is a certainty that the demonstrative and popular Jürgen Klopp will generate varied points of intense discussion in the years ahead.