Unfortunately, no matter what Liverpool achieve for the rest of this season, when history looks back on Klopp’s first full season in charge of the team, it’s going to remember it in one word: January.
January is when Liverpool were dumped out of both cup competitions, when they finally gave up the slim hope for a title run, and then dropped out of the top four altogether. With Chelsea playing as impressively as they did this season, Liverpool’s title dreams were really only fantasy after they fell seven points behind the leaders, it was still fun to imagine.
Gini Wijnaldum, on the other hand, insists that Liverpool were not distracted by flights of fancy in those early months when they were still in the race, and they were not to blame for the disastrous start to 2017.
“That was something more from the outside to be fair, from the media, always when you do good and are high in the table, then everyone will speak about you being champions,” he claimed.
“We are in a competition where there are five, six, seven teams who can finish in the first four. You have to look at it game by game, and do it step by step, and the in the end you will see where you are standing.
“I think if you think that far ahead about the first four, or to be champions, that is something you cannot control. You can control the training and then the performance will come game by game, and do not think that far ahead.
“I think it was more something from people outside, than people inside.”
Regarding that fateful month, Wijnaldum chose tasteful understatement saying, “January was not a good month for us, we were not on a good run, it was quite a bad run for us.
“We did not win a game in January, but at the end in February in the last game, we won, which was a good thing.
“But I think the most important thing is for us to win a few games in a row, because that is what you need to keep the confidence.”
Liverpool will have to wait until Monday to keep the momentum going against a woeful Leicester City team on the brink of what would be an historic relegation. Liverpool will need to ignore their generous nature when it comes to teams near the drop zone this season in order to pick up the three points they need. In the mean time, they’ll have to watch as all of their competitors play first over the weekend. Perhaps that will be the kick they need to earn a win.