That was a thing and Everton did their level best to try and ruin a title challenge for us. Fair play to them. While it wasn’t the most exciting Derby ever witnessed, one point is better than none, and we go into next weekend... well let’s not talk about where we are in the league standings because we’re all gonna get upset.
Jürgen Klopp, on the other hand, appears cool as a cucumber (despite that whole ballboy hullabaloo) and was there following the match at Goodison Park to remind us to not panic. In many ways, this presser sounds a lot like Klopp trying to calm his panicking children. Everything is going to be fine.
“I don’t think I have to give my players that advice because they know it already. Look, we are not little boys anymore, it’s not that we were completely surprised that we can play good football and we are in the very, very top part of the table. But if you are there you have to be ready for all the different things that happen,” Klopp said after the match.
“Sometimes you have a lead and everybody says, ‘that’s done’ 20 games before the end of the season. To stay calm in these situations was very easy. Then you have one point or two points more. It’s absolutely not important. At the beginning of March, who cares? The good thing is that we are in the battle, we are in the fight, that’s really good news. My feeling is more and more that we are really prepared for it because again it was a difficult game for us.
“Everybody has to come here and it’s probably always difficult but obviously against us it’s extremely difficult. We get a point; if somebody should have won the game, I think it was only one team. We had the chances. In a wild game we had chances, big chances and didn’t use them. It’s a point, let’s carry on.”
There’s now 27 points on the table between now and the end of the season and while two dropped points isn’t great, if we can manage to get all the points we can from those 27, we’ll be okay. A lot can happen in nine games.
When asked if he expects more twists and turns in the last bit of the season, Klopp said: “Hopefully at least one! We have so many difficult games, we play Burnley next week at home – how can I sit here and think about the result we’ll have against them? It’s disrespectful and I’m not disrespectful. We have to play a lot of games.
“The only way you can win something is on one hand to stay calm but lively, critical but very confident. And believe in your chance. And I believe 100 per cent in our chance. Game by game by game my feeling gets better about the boys because they look really ready for it. We didn’t score, that happens. That can happen.
“It was a difficult game – the opponent, and the weather circumstances didn’t help for a good football game in general. It was just a fight and we were ready for that fight. Now we have a point more than before, all good.”
Of course, the questions then turned to whether or not Klopp should’ve taken more risks for a game like this, instead of the generally conservative midfield of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum that was fielded. Even just one look at the comments in our First Thoughts will tell you that some of his substitutions were seen as... what’s the phrase I’m looking for? Ill advised?
“Do you think we didn’t take enough risks today? Was there any draw where we didn’t try to win? Bring on an extra attacker and football changes? It is not like that. We are offensive enough, football doesn’t work like that. There are nine games to go and we don’t lose our nerves,” Klopp continued.
“You need the right things in the right moment and that doesn’t only work if another striker [is on the pitch]. You cannot start with four or five strikers in a striker way with nothing else to do than to try to score. We are an offensive team and that’s absolutely OK – we take a risk, no doubt about it, but it is not like that. It’s not the moment where we say, ‘Come on now, throw everything in that direction.’
“You cannot play in the Premier League like that; we play next week against Burnley and if we play only offensive, they [will] kill us on the counter-attack, 100 per cent. They don’t wait for us, they look where we have problems and then try to punish us there. Just always prepare for the game like you should prepare. We take all the risks, but you cannot take more than 100 per cent risk. It’s not about ‘going nuts’, it’s not about that.”
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to throw on five strikers and they’d all be able to score and take the game from two points lost to three points gained. We’re not Jürgen Klopp, though, and we can’t actually put any players on because we don’t make the decisions. And times like this, he actually sounds like he knows what he’s doing, unlike us pretenders.
The sentiment is the same, throughout all of Klopp’s comments. Don’t panic. 27 points still on the table. We’re coming for every single one.