It was half-time at Carrow Road during Liverpool’s contest with Norwich City, and casual observers had reason to fear for the safety of the visiting squad as they headed to the dressing room. While not quite incandescent, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was visibly less than happy with his team's execution and level of concentration as they sloppily ceded the initiative to the Canaries after initially taking the lead through Roberto Firmino. Clearly some changes would be needed for the second half, and so changes there were, both in personnel and in attitude.
How did Klopp motivate his players to lift their level of play, in the face of a spirited home crowd, and even after conceding a third Norwich goal quickly after the restart? Lucas Leiva, speaking after the match, shed some light on the mystery of the manager's rousing rhetoric.
"The manager just said we have to find a way to win," said the veteran midfielder. "We did it. We need to improve a lot but the passion, determination, and belief is there."
Okay, so not quite the same as Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech before the Battle of Agincourt. But then again how many Bundesliga titles did Henry V win?
Banal though it might have been, Lucas’ exposé on the manager's half-time adjustments does highlight a key feature of the Liverpool squad under Klopp. The earlier tendency, dispiritingly noticeable in the latter days of Brendan Rodgers' tenure, to completely capitulate once the opposition had seized the initiative, has been all but eradicated.
Stat-savvy observers have noted that since Klopp's appointment, Liverpool has been a Premier League leader in scoring goals after the 75th minute. As Liverpool work on repairing some of the more glaring deficiencies in their squad and in their game, fans can at least take heart that even if the half-time speeches aren't as rousing as they might have imagined, a lack of mental fortitude no longer seems to be an issue.