Neil Humphreys: Why Klopp O'Clock is no fluke
Liverpool's penchant for late goals is the product of top-class talent being well harnessed
It is a time for belief.
Everyone is about the belief. The footballers, the managers, the commentators and the punters are all about the belief.
Fergie Time is dead, long live Klopp O'Clock.
The shiny baton of belief has passed from the retired Manchester United manager to the bouncing boss in the Liverpool dugout in a sacred ceremony filled with cliched fluff.
Belief scored Sadio Mane's deft header in stoppage time against Aston Villa. Belief delivered the perfect cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
If only Juergen Klopp, that ingenious alchemist, could distil, bottle and sell this intangible "belief", he might be able to flog his cocktail of winning-ness to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United, you see, lack belief.
They also lack decent players, an experienced manager, a cogent transfer policy and a boardroom interested primarily in football, rather than finances.
But, no, it is really all about the belief, apparently.
Such trite analysis not only does a disservice to Klopp's astounding progress - he is still portrayed as the clownish cheerleader compared to Pep Guardiola's deep thinker - the hogwash also props up Solskjaer.
Klopp's Reds have won more points from losing positions this season - 10 - than any other club, thanks to his side's belief, determination, spirit and any other lazy cliche not yet included.
Solskjaer, on the other hand, has cobbled together United's lowest points total after 11 games in 33 years, thanks to his side's lack of belief, attitude and never-say-side approach (have I missed any?).
Belief is an abstract quality that cannot be bought in the transfer window or taught on a tactics board. By its very definition, belief is an internal acceptance that something is true.
The Red Devils are mostly ordinary. That is true.
The Reds are generally extraordinary. That is also true.
Alexander-Arnold is currently one of the most reliable distributors in world football. That is true.
Mane is currently one of the most reliable finishers in world football. That is also true.
Put the two together as often as possible and, by the law of averages, one will find the other eventually. That's the essence of belief, based on truth rather than devotion to the cult of Klopp and his supernatural powers of motivation.
He has the best players in their best positions, which allows Liverpool, more often than not, to overcome inferior opponents, even on an off day at Villa Park.
Talent builds belief. Belief does not increase talent.
If it did, the plucky Villans might top the table.
Without a doubt, Klopp O'Clock has replaced Fergie Time and is a testament to the German's remarkable progress.
Since the beginning of last season, no other EPL team has scored more goals during the final 10 minutes. Liverpool have done it 23 times.
This season alone, there was the 95th-minute winner against Leicester City and the 85th-minute equaliser against Manchester United.
Even their lone goal in the narrow 1-0 victory at Sheffield United came in the 70th minute of an otherwise inept display.
No accident. No conspiracy theory. Most of the time, quality prevails.
Two years ago, Klopp expressed his annoyance at the Reds' "self-fulfilling prophecy" of conceding easy goals, shipping 13 in their opening seven matches. So he bought Virgil van Dijk and Alisson and wilfully changed the narrative.
He bought the belief.
He didn't stumble upon the precious quality by jiggling along the touchline like a fist-pumping pantomime.
Similarly, United didn't win the Treble in 1999 because they had a puce-faced Scotsman who kept jabbing away at his watch like a neurotic woodpecker.
They won because they had David Beckham's flawless deliveries at corners.
Fergie Time, in its initial incarnation, was statistically proven to be something of a myth.
According to researchers at Cork University, Fergie's United did not benefit from a so-called favouritism towards bigger clubs. Referees did not generally award more stoppage time for the Red Devils to snatch positive results.
United simply scored late winners with superior resources.
Fergie Time, like Klopp O'Clock, is a reality only in the sense that better sides continue to cultivate better opportunities from first minute to last.
Klopp bought and improved Mane, turned Alexander-Arnold from a kid to a colossus and relied on their exceptional ability to find a way.
Liverpool's regular path to late glory is one that can be measured and quantified, through the astute purchases and playing formations of their manager.
Klopp O'Clock is not a fluke or the result of a mystical belief system, but a fair reward for a man with impeccable timing.