When Brendan Rodgers signed on to manage Liverpool, most fans were willing to give him time to show he had a plan to take the team forward. Most, in fact, were willing to give him an entire season, as Liverpool at times struggled on their way to an seventh place finish in Rodgers' Year Zero.
Liverpool struggled, but there seemed a plan—a goal; an identity—being worked towards by that side, and so fans gave were willing to give Rodgers time. For his second season, Rodgers quickly threw that plan out the window as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge set the league alight, but nobody much cared given the results.
For new manager Jürgen Klopp, the expectations may be higher given his record, but most are similarly willing to be patient; to give him time if there are signs of a plan. Some in the media, constantly searching for a story, may not be quite so patient, though, and Klopp is already facing questions about starting with three draws.
"If someone hoped changes would be quicker, then I'm sorry," said Klopp with a shrug at his pre-Bournemouth press conference today. "I think it's not better that you win the first game and don't know why. It's important that we find a way to win games and to know why. If we know why that is how we know we can get better."
Liverpool have clearly played better in Klopp's first few games than they did in Rodgers' last. They have run and harried and pressed more, often to good effect. They haven't been perfect in their timing and coordination, but there are signs of a pressing identity being worked towards and early positives to be seen from that.
In defence, individual errors have still been an issue, but the team have conceded fewer chances and have looked more organised. Again, it's not perfect, but there are signs of an identity being built, and more than that this early on really would be no more that the results of a lucky bounce here or fortunate call there.
The results haven't been great, but there have been signs of improvement. Signs of an identity being worked towards. For some, perhaps, anything less than winning every match would be a disappointment for a manager as lauded as Klopp. For most, though, promise and improvement and the start of an identity is enough.
"Everybody can see we need the results," he said. "We had results maybe, but not the most satisfying in the world. If you are at a new club, normally you have time, but if you don't you accept that and that the way is hard. My faith in this team is really big. It's a really good atmosphere working with this squad."