In the beginning there was head scratching. Dejan Lovren had signed with Liverpool for £20M in the summery days of 2014 and we all waiting with bated breath to see our struggling defense transformed by the introduction of the Croatia defender. Well, we waiting. And then we waited some more.
Unfortunately for Lovren, his troubles in the back four under Brendan Rodgers were never truly eased, but the ex-Southampton man says that, mentally, he never lost faith in his ability to wash away his own stink.
“I have had ups and downs like everyone has in their lives,” said Lovren. “The difference is I’m a football player and millions of people can see when that happens to me.
“It is a difficult time when you make a mistake. But I always believed in myself even when other people stopped believing.”
But, Dejan isn’t the only one that Dejan credits for his unexpected turnaround of form. The Liverpool center back has a clean-clothes-basket full of kudos for manager Jürgen Klopp.
“He just believes in us,” Lovren says of the manager, “and I think that has helped me to get back to the form I showed at Southampton or during the couple of years before that in France.
“I would say he works 24 hours a day on everything at the club. He knows everything that is happening and he wants us to give that same 100% on the pitch.”
Whatever it is that’s been happening, it’s working. Lovren has looked far better under the tutelage of Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff.
“We are learning every day in training and can improve. In every aspect of football you can improve: tactically, physically, mentally. Every day you can learn something and I think that I can learn from the manager every day.”
Excellent, positive vibes all around. Klopp is doing all the things we hoped for when he arrived but, the positive vibes have got to be up there at the top of the “Critical Things This Club Needed” chart.
Also, it would be remiss not to, at least, give a mention to Joel Matip here, the preferred center back partner of the gods. The two have been impressive as a dynamic duo in the back. And while mistakes will occasionally waft up, Dejan Lovren has successfully extinguished the stink.