Plenty can and has been said about Liverpool’s defensive problems this season, starting with Klopp’s choices at centre-back, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, and Ragnar Klavan. Clean sheets feel hard to come by — though being fair to the boys, they have managed two in a row now.
Matip and Lovren are clearly Klopp’s first choice pairing for those important positions, and while fans could argue that an upgrade to one or both of them is necessary, the together they have a pretty good track record. Liverpool have only lost two of the 30 games where Matip and Lovren have started together. It’s clear that a good understanding is growing between them, and Matip has nothing but praise for his Croatian counterpart.
“Dejan is a really good player, very experienced but also good with the ball,” said Matip.
“As a centre-back I enjoy playing with him because he always has your back. On top of that he is also a good communicator and communication is one of the most important keys to defending.
“It helps you stay really close to your team-mates and destroy the attacking ideas of the opponent directly at source.”
While Lovren, in particular, has been a source of discord and angst for Liverpool fans since pretty much the day he arrived from Southampton, it’s true that he has enjoyed some good patches of form over the years.
Klopp clearly has faith in him as well, so hey. Maybe it’s finally here. Maybe we’re really starting to see the Lovrenaissance that we’ve all been promised for so long. Or maybe we’re like Charlie Brown with the football. It’s still only October, so we have plenty of time to find out.