October was Klopptober for Liverpool, as the club replaced struggling manager Brendan Rodgers heading into the international break. After a disastrous year three and struggling to start his fourth year in charge, most felt it was time for a change. So far, the results of that change have been promising.
Up until a convincing win over Chelsea it had all been draws, but the performances were much improved, and football was once again fun to watch for Liverpool fans—something they hadn’t been able to say for more than a year. Performances were up, energy levels were up, and players were being played in their proper positions.
The managerial change in particular seemed to do wonders for Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho, both of whom have looked revitalised by the arrival of a manager who appears to believe in them. Both had been amongst the club’s better performers even in Rodgers’ final days but have looked even better in recent weeks.
It’s Sakho who looks favourite to be named player of the month, and with five points for being named man of the match—which he was for his performance against Rubin Kazan—through to one point for finishing fifth in voting, the French centre half earned 16 points last month. Nobody else was particularly close.
Still, how people felt immediately following the game may not be a fair reflection of how they feel once they’ve had time to digest things, and Lucas (with nine points), Christian Benteke (9), Simon Mignolet (9), Alberto Moreno (8) and Roberto Firmino (7) could also be in the running for player of the month honours.