Since taking control of Liverpool Football Club in October, positive improvements have already been seen on the pitch for Jürgen Klopp's men. However, the process of adapting a team's style of play to suit the new manager is not a simple one, and it's still an ongoing process.
Reds' fans will remember most recently seeing this in the transition from Kenny Dalglish to Brendan Rodgers in 2012. There were plenty of growing pains as the team tried to familiarize themselves with Rodgers' more possession-oriented style of play. Though Rodgers had the summer to work things out in training as well as to bring in his own players, Klopp's task is much more difficult. While fans were excited that he was there and willing to show patience, immediate results were needed to try and save a season that had taken a nosedive.
Philippe Coutinho wasn't around for Rodgers's bedding-in process, but he's the central figure in Klopp's, as the team's most talented and creative player, particularly with captain Jordan Henderson still out injured after surgery for a broken foot. Converting chances and scoring goals remains a big problem for this Liverpool side, and Coutinho has been one of the only players who has stepped up to fix the problem, having scored three goals in Liverpool last two league games, and another in a friendly on Friday against Wolves.
Recently, Coutinho spoke about life under their new manager and the ways in which the team has to work together to solve this problem.
"When you get new players, especially strikers, it is the job of all of the team to give them the service they need. I have to learn whether it is right to play a fast ball or a pass along the ground, depending on who I am playing the ball to. I have to adapt to them, but it’s not only me who must do this."
"The training sessions are very, very important for this adaptation process to happen. We work on this every day in training and the sessions are very intense. If we’re not doing it right, or something isn’t working, we do it again and again until we get it right. The more you train with your team-mates, the more you learn about each other and this is important for the team to do well."
While many players are off with their national teams, injuries and other factors have made it so that key players for the squad remain in the Liverpool. Among these are Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Jordon Ibe, and Jordan Henderson. After the break, the team faces a tough test when they visit the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City, and it's possible that some or all of these players could feature in that game. Having this extra time to prepare and rest up with hopefully lead to a positive result in the last in a very difficult away game schedule since the beginning of the season.