Yes [I am impressed with the team’s form], because I don’t have timeframes for this kind of thing, or a schedule when I think it should be, but the Premier League is [the] Premier League. We had a good pre-season, a long pre-season, with a lot of players together, that was the main reason that we could work for a long time together. That helped definitely and getting results in moments when maybe recently, or in previous years, things would have gone the other way helped as well to grow together. Individually the quality of the boys is really good, the potential is outstanding, attitude good, so it means a good chance for quality. The group is open for new things.
We called it a new start, this is year one for this team, I know these are only words but we live it. We gave ourselves a chance to create a basis and use it, and not constantly comparing with other teams, even when we were involved in that from recent years when we won things or not. That’s not about that. You never win things because you won it before, if at all you win it’s because you are now good enough and we don’t know how good we are, we don’t know how stable it all is, but we all see as well that there are good moments in the games and that’s what we want to increase.
Dominik Szoboszlai was at the forefront of press questions, with the Hungarian midfielder making an positive impression on many, both within and beyond the Liverpool bubble. Klopp agrees:
I am impressed as well. It’s clear. I didn’t know him, I knew him as a footballer, but not as a person before. The boy is impressive, is really smart, is really nice. A really good lad. Is close with everybody. You have these people who come into the room and click with everybody, he has that, charisma, [or] however you want to call it. He was in the team in an instant, that’s clear, and was so happy to come here, [it] was really nice to see. [It] was really nice to see how much it meant to him and that’s it.
If that’s the mood you are in yourself then obviously it’s a good situation to play your best football. That’s what he did pretty much from the beginning, he’s a natural fit boy, endurance talent, learnt that really quick, and all the rest we learn step by step about each other. He never played the position he’s playing for us now in that way, he even played for us [in a] double-six, which he definitely never played, but we learned together where it can go. That’s it. It’s like it is with the other boys, but it’s a real joy to work with [him]. That’s it.
The Liverpool boss also had some words for Wataru Endo, who got his first assist against Leicester City midweek:
It [his performance] was not a surprise because that is how he is training. I have said before, he is already there in training. I was not too happy with the way I described the situation with his politeness, but if you are not native it makes life really difficult sometimes even when you all think I am here eight years and should maybe speak better English. There are some people who have a personality of getting into something and taking everything. Then you have the others who come in, look left and right and think, ‘Let’s have a look first’ and that says nothing about this person, it is just their character — but both can succeed, it is just different timescales.
Now we have two new players with Dom and Macca [Alexis Mac Allister] who just step in and ‘Hello, here we are!’ A bit later Ryan, obviously, who is doing pretty well as well. Then you have a fourth one and people say, ‘I’m not really sure’ but if we don’t give people time anymore then what kind of world is that? I was not surprised because that’s how he trains. It looks really good, super-promising, and that’s exactly what we wanted.
He is a top, top guy, so I am really happy for him he could show the outside world a first glimpse of his quality. It is really nice. With all the attention, understandable attention, on Dominik’s goal, the pass was as good because I didn’t see any space between the two players.
Dom told me later, ‘I hoped he would see me…’ Yes, he saw you, but then he still has to think if there is enough space for the ball between the two players. It was a top, top pass, the passes we missed in the past, that’s the truth as well. He played so many forward balls and that was really good. He is in a good way and I was really happy for him to show in the second half this sign.
Safe to say that Jürgen Klopp is in quite a good mood with his squad’s character and performance levels ahead of a challenging weekend.