The unity within Jürgen Klopp’s squad is clear to see. The players are working so effortlessly at times moving the ball and pressing the opposition. Such a high level of understanding only comes with time and attention. Klopp’s Liverpool is now a togetherness engine that cruises and revs with intent. The team can keep the ball and control the game with patience, waiting for a moment to strike for goal. The pressure rises and falls. And when one player finally scores, they all score.
Klopp praised his team’s mentality during his pre-Cardiff City press conference, explaining that while his players are all nice guys and get along well, there must also be a serious competitive spirit in the dressing room to elevate his team above the best teams.
“It’s a super group,” said Klopp. “The boys are really close together but, believe it or not, the mood and atmosphere in the dressing room of City, for sure, of Tottenham, of United, of Chelsea, Arsenal is good as well - and all the others, and Cardiff probably as well.
“It’s all about how you mix up your potential with attitude. We have, obviously, a really good football team with good players and mixing it up with a world-class attitude makes you a difficult-to-play team. That’s all what we need. We did that from the first day of the season and so far it worked out.”
In the past, Liverpool have had plenty of talent but lacked much of this attitude that Klopp is talking about. You can witness mentality issues at various big clubs any season. The team may be stacked with excellent players but the spark is missing and when that team goes down a goal or is put under too much pressure they crumble.
Klopp deserves a lot of credit for fostering this “super group” at Melwood with the help of his staff and the recruitment team. The big German brought a lot of football smarts to Liverpool when he arrived but has also ushered in this era of camaraderie that’s fueling his team’s charge back up the football pyramid.