There were some early highs for Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, strong performances against Tottenham and Manchester City and Chelsea. There were let-offs, too. Moments things didn’t quite click and Liverpool still looked the side that had stumbled through the final year and a bit of Brendan Rodgers’ tenure.
Over the past two months, though, the team seems to have rounded into top form and—outside of a dire half against Southampton, at least—the performances and results have been far more consistent. Fans and pundits have noticed. So too have the players, including James Milner, who has found his own stellar form of late.
"We seem to be in rhythm at the moment," Milner told Sky Sports following last night’s 4-0 thumping of rivals Everton. "You need a full squad, and we have got a lot of quality in it. It’s a young squad as well, and when the young guys have come in they’ve done brilliantly. There’s a lot of competition for places, and you need that."
Increasingly, that youth and depth has seen Klopp rotating his team to avoid burnout as the games add up. Liverpool have played 55 times already, and by the end of the Premier League season that number will stand at 62. Depth and rotation is necessary, and many who started last night will sit on Saturday against Newcastle.
Just as important as being able to rotate, though, is that Milner says that Klopp’s approach to the game is now becoming second nature for the players. They were listening before, but after six months with the German in charge, many have now begun to fully internalise Klopp’s lessons, and the results are there for all to see.
"The manager’s style is a bit more second nature now than a few months ago," a satisfied Milner added. "We know how he wants to play, and now everyone is on the same page. I think you can see that in the performances."