Klopp is tops with the Kop, says Gary Lim, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Klopp is tops with the Kop, says Gary Lim

He may be the Normal One, but there's nothing normal about Liverpool's turnaround


(Divock Origi 43, Mamadou Sakho 45+2, Daniel Sturridge 61, Philippe Coutinho 76)


Juergen Klopp is the maverick who continues to play the fool.

He gestures wildly on the touchline one moment, then breaks into a guffaw the next.

He hops up and down like he has ants in his pants, before his mood suddenly changes and he flashes a silly grin.

He ignores all etiquette in the technical area and periodically disregards protocol on live television with his liberal use of the English language.

But, between his many moments of madness, he's also making Liverpool click.

He has the Kop gushing over the team again, like the old days.

The Klopp effect is beginning to set and Anfield is buzzing once more.

Yesterday morning (Singapore time), the love affair moved to a new level.

In his first Merseyside Derby, the German masterminded a resounding 4-0 win over their bitterest rivals.

It took his predecessor Brendan Rodgers four attempts before he tasted his first and only win over Everton.

In his first clash with Everton, Klopp's Liverpool pulverised the Toffees with goals by Divock Origi, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.

They peppered the opponents with 37 shots, of which 13 were on target.

They had 67 per cent of possession, and drew nine saves out of 
Toffees goalkeeper Joel Robles.

In reply, Roberto Martinez's men, who had defender Ramiro Funes Mori sent off in the 50th minute - the match was all but lost by then - could muster just three off-target shots.

In the space of half a year, Klopp has forged a character in the Liverpool team that is barely recognisable from the wishy-washy fare they produced in the final months of Rodgers' reign.


The German has transformed an average side with one or two stars into an outfit capable of competing in every competition.

Despite the chaos left behind by Rodgers, the 48-year-old Klopp has already chiselled out a spot for Liverpool in the trophy-winning business.

He took them to within a penalty shoot-out of a League Cup triumph, masterminded an impressive Premiership double (both by three-goal margins) over Manchester City, and pulled off one of the club's greatest European nights by coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to defeat formidable Borussia Dortmund 4-3 in the Europa League quarter-final second leg at Anfield last week.

When he took over the team last October, the Reds were among the most goal-shy sides in the English top flight, with a tally of eight goals in eight league matches.

Since the start of 2016, no Premier League team have scored more than the 34 goals they have netted.

Remarkably, Klopp has done all this by using pretty much the same set of players he inherited.

James Milner, whose 11 assists in all competitions this year are more than that of any other Premiership player, has shown his attacking qualities after being given the freedom to express himself.

Midfielder Adam Lallana's new-found consistency is why he is experiencing his best spell in a Liverpool shirt since moving from Southampton two years ago.

Klopp also had the foresight recently to turn young Origi into his first-choice striker and the reward has been a return of five goals in his last five outings.

Even the previous hopeless defending has come good.

Dejan Lovren's initial struggles have been forgotten on the back of some excellent displays in the heart of the backline.

His defensive partner Sakho has put in heroic performances in recent weeks to cement his status as an unlikely Kop hero.

Klopp's outfit may lack the individual brilliance that the likes of Man City and Arsenal possess.

But the collective will, fostered by an ever-growing belief in the camp, is turning them into a force to be reckoned with.

With just five matches remaining, a Premiership top-four finish looks unlikely.

Yet, the relentless momentum they are currently on will ensure they are capable of capitalising on any slip-ups by their rivals.

There is, however, another ticket into next season's Champions League.

Next Friday morning, they meet Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals.

Win the competition and they get a free pass to the Champions League.

The red half of Merseyside has confidence coursing through their veins.

There may be method in Klopp's madness after all.

You need to have a little bit of luck with injuries. Consistency is about having players ready for the next game. Consistency comes with working together. We can’t do a lot of things like you usually do in three weeks; we need six-anda- half months.

— Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp, who feels he has not yet found the magic formula

The manager’s style is a bit more second nature than it was a few months ago. We know how he wants to play and everyone is on the same page. You can see that in the performances.

— Reds midfielder James Milner, on getting used to Klopp’s style

sportsFootballeplliverpoolevertonjuergen kloppUncategorisedMamadou SakhoDaniel SturridgeRoberto MartinezPhilippe Coutinhoanfield