Playing twice a week as Liverpool often do can be hard on the players, but plenty of people have noticed over the years that despite the difficulty—and the increased injury list from the heavy game load—the Reds often find their best rhythm when playing often.
It’s a situation that hasn’t been lost on manager Jürgen Klopp, who commented on his side’s lack of rhythm in the first half of their eventual 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon. Though winning 4-0 in the end does make a slow start easier to take.
“Let me say it like this, I spoke a couple of times about periods when we had five games in 13 days, stuff like this,” he said. “It’s really tough. But now we had 11 days off, we trained five days, and we lacked rhythm. I don’t complain about it, it’s our fault, but it’s tricky.
“We had football moments, they were alright without creating properly. They were alright but not enough. Then we played long balls when we should’ve played passes and the other way around as well. Now the second half was our start, it’s the other way around.
“The moment we find rhythm, we are strong, I have to say. We look then really, really good. But without rhythm probably nobody is strong. We should start games better but it’s about winning the game in the end, so as long as we stay in it what happens is allowed.”
Slow starts, of course, aren’t ideal. But this Liverpool side has shown time and again this season that if it can stay in the game when things don’t click from kickoff, Klopp can make tactical tweaks and the players can execute. And the record then speaks for itself.
The next few weeks, then, will offer a more normal—which is to say more congested—schedule, and the lengthy injury and absentee list could mean less rotation than normally might be the case for a League Cup semi against Fulham and FA Cup tie with Norwich.
Just as they found a way against Bournemouth on Sunday, Klopp’s Reds will have to—and will themselves fully expect to—find a way. It’s the cost of competing for four trophies, and that’s something everyone in and around the club will want to be in the mix for.