Will Jurgen Klopp win Liverpool that elusive first Premier League title?by Mike Holden / 10 August 2017, 16:16Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) takes a look at what we can expect from Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool during the 2017/18 Premier League season.
Jurgen Klopp suffered a post-Christmas slump for the second season running, raising obvious concerns about his adaptability to the absence of a winter break. But it was otherwise promising for Liverpool as they secured a return to the Champions League with fourth spot. Take away the rotten run of two wins in 12 outings at the start of 2017 and you’re looking at a team that could challenge for the title. The speculation linking Philippe Coutinho with a move to Barcelona does their immediate aspirations no favours, though.
Klopp is the archetypal larger-than-life personality, a raving extravert and a firm believer in people. He’s extremely charismatic and connects with all manner of personality types in a variety of ways, be it through facts and logic or raw emotion. He has a unique talent for identifying what motivates someone through seemingly disconnected events, and he brings those ideas together to communicate a common goal. His optimism is boundless and his life mission is to control the mood and atmosphere around him, which also extends to supporters.
"When we finished last season in fourth everyone was really happy. We knew there would be a qualification game and now it's coming up. Everyone is thinking about the Champions League qualifier but Watford is the first target. We’re in good shape. The players are in a good mood, attitude in all the training sessions is really good. Liverpool is not a club that has to sell players. That’s set in stone. There’s no price limit to let (Coutinho) go. No price at which we’re ready to give in."
It will be interesting to see whether Klopp has learned anything from the past two seasons in terms of how he approaches January but there’s so much else to be resolved before Liverpool even get to September. If they book their place in the Champions League group stages and emerge from the Coutinho saga with a positive outcome - one way or the other - then a slight improvement can be expected. It would be a surprise if they don’t keep up with the title pace until at least Christmas.