Let’s get one thing clear, the Crystal Palace defeat hurt, but hope is far from lost. After 3 draws and 3 wins from his first six games, Liverpool’s tenure under Jürgen Klopp started extremely brightly. A game which should have been won by the home side and was subsequently lost is a setback, but you have to remember it’s only November and that sometimes in football, these things happen. Shit happens!
What’s crucial to me is that those involved, players and the manager alike, take heart in the chances created and the progress we’ve been making week on week. Whilst reflecting on the mistakes, learning from them and looking to eradicate them from our collective game. Defeats can teach a team much more than a win, if you have a reflective manager who utilises it as a motivation and development tool. The finest managers can do this, Jürgen can do this.
What supporters need to remember is that playing young players will likely mean regular mistakes will happen on the pitch. By their very nature, young players are still developing on the pitch. Inconsistencies are part of a player growing and evolving, very rarely players age 21 or under deliver a flawless performance on the pitch.
At Liverpool we have some excellent young players. I have extremely high hopes for Jordon Ibe, Sheyi Ojo, Joe Gomez, Pedro Chirivella and Cameron Brannagan. All come with an extremely high pedigree, play with confidence and discipline on the ball and display great levels of determination, to be successful in their careers. I’m not sure the last time we had five players of that age, I am confident of going onto being fixtures within the squad, some regulars within the first team. That’s exciting and needs to be remembered.
Slightly above that age, you have to remember Emre Can (21), Philippe Coutinho (23) and Alberto Moreno (23) who are still developing consistency. All three are deemed as being senior players, asked to take responsibility on the pitch and are criticised for any mistakes or poor performances made. I highlight those three because of the potential they all hold. All three (yes inclusive of Moreno), have world class potential. All three have improved under Klopp’s direction. All three need support, you can just see that.
For me the key with younger players is patience. Many don’t realise that as a club we’ve rarely been in a position to buy the star man and when we have been we’ve often, brought the wrong man. I’d rather take a risk at a younger player with the right skill set, than a more established pro whose already peaked. A younger player can be moulded, positively coached and influenced by those around them. Once a player reaches a certain age, any bad habits cannot be coached out.
The argument for me is simple. A young player who can on occasion put in a 5/10 performance, then on others put in a 9/10. Compare that to a senior player, who will regularly put in a 7/10 performance, but can never give more than that, makes the former a more attractive proposal. We have to take those risks, or at least did without a manager able to attract those game changing players. However, things may have changed.
Liverpool are not financially able to compete with the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea on the overall financial package offered to players, or from recent successes on the pitch. What they can offer is a world class manager, who is universally adored by his players and the supporters of the clubs he’s managed. A manager with knowledge of the best area to shop in world football and a draw for any player wanting develop and grow their game.
Since Jürgen took over, some of the players linked are worlds apart from the previous regime. Leroy Sane, Schalke’s mercurial young winger, whose catching everyone’s eye. Ilkay Gundogan, Dortmunds imperious midfielder, rediscovering his best form. Timo Horn, the talented FC Köln shot stopper, who looks destined for greatness. Rubén Neves, the 18 year old Porto midfielder, who plays with composure and control, which far exceed many of his more experienced peers.
Those players may not sign, but you can see the calibre and for me excitement among those type of signings. The players are special, you can just see why the hype surrounds them. We have some wonderful young players at the club, but I’m always happy to embrace more. Under Jürgen’s guidance, you can see a a successful team forming, a structure to our side and a stronger tactical approach, which players can embrace and work towards.
The stability and consistency are key. We look like a team once more, not just a group of individuals. That to me allows players to come into the side in a seamless fashion. Each player knows their individual role and that of their teammates. It seems so simple to play players in their most effective positions, but it’s taken a management change to allow this. It’s this continuity we’ve not seen for sometime and one that needs to be celebrated.
It’s still extremely early days and miracles won’t happen overnight. However, I know all it requires as a supporter, is a little patience. Jürgen Klopp wasn’t just the best manager available, for me, he’s the most suitable manager in world football. A man whose charisma and charm is infectious to all, whose belief and determination is unwavering, whose desire to win and knowledge of the game, ultimately equates to success.
This is Liverpool football club, nothing ever runs smoothly. But I can happily say, I’m eagerly strapped in, ready for all the ups, downs, twists and turns of the rollercoaster. I’m excited to be a supporter once more, my belief has returned and for once a defeat can’t dampen my spirits. Why? Because I have found hope. Have you?
Latest posts by Rory Greenfield (see all)
- Liverpool Football Club – Success will arrive, it’s only a matter of time. - November 21, 2015
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- Liverpool Supporters – We deserve more - September 16, 2015