Jurgen Klopp is celebrating one year at helm of the Liverpool FC this week and we will talk about the transformation and changes, his influence on the life here at Anfield after departure of Brendon Rodgers last year. Klopp replaced Rodgers as manager on October 8 2015 with the Reds sitting 10th in the table after winning just three of their opening eight Premier League games, no side has created more chances since he took over from Rodgers and they are the currently the joint top-scorers in the English top flight and have shown that they can hurt teams big and small over the past year.
Known for his gegenpressing tactics which means counter pressing in English the manager regard it as sort of ‘best playmaker’ which can yield chances faster than any build up or team passing. Liverpool have had a huge success in creating chances and tackles in the opponents half since his arrival, perfect example is Alexis Sanchez who adhere to same sort of pressing and have managed to score against the run of play numerous times since he joined Arsenal. Under Klopp Liverpool have created 13.81 chances per game with as compared to Rodgers 11.84 and 5.41 challenges in the opponents half as compared to 4.5 under Rodgers.
As far as formation is concerned he has experimented with nearly as 4 to 5 variations over the period of one year and now seems to have found a settled one. Like his Dortmund days he initiated with a 4-2-3-1 which did decent and was expected to maintain the same until Firmino returned and he tinkered it to 4-3-3 defensive due to lack of fitness and player still learning the movements and developing a better understanding among themselves. Henderson return made him play a 4-4-2 with Can-Henderson partnership working well for that period. Over the months he experimented and finally found a 4-3-3 attacking formation, a bit weak in defence but the best which suits his mentality and fitness levels good as well with players understanding each other relatively better.
He has also conducted his transfers well with spending on right players and the positions he need to strengthen, with arrival of Mane and Wijnaldum Liverpool have looked threatening as ever, moreover Coutinho and Firmino makes them a side who can topple one of the best on their day which was eminent in pre season when they were victorious over Barcelona 3-0. Only thing which they need to work over is inconsistency and dropping points at home and against small teams.
Here are some staggering stats that are evident how Klopp has induced his attacking philosophy which has started to yield results, albeit that are a tad inconsistent and complacent at times :-
• Klopp’s industriously energetic side have made 4,227 passes 38 more than the Gunners with Henderson the main contributor – 589(most)
• Liverpool have collected 33 points from 20 away games since Klopp joined, most after Tottenham who are leading with 36 in 18 games.
• Their stunning record of 73 goals over this period is more than any other Premier League team with City sitting on 70, watch all in just 365 seconds here : https://www.liverpoolfc.com/video/latest-videos#27610
• The Reds have enjoyed highest average possession in the league with 58.8 per cent ahead of Arsenal who sit second with 58.2
• They have the most sprints since Klopp’s appointment with 20,764 a huge 693 more than the second placed Spurs.
• Liverpool also have topped the charts when it comes to tackles per game with 22.4 and have recorded a season distance of 814.8 km. Also being h=the best in the league.
After 12 months of Klopp they are making more chances, scoring more goals, winning the ball more in the opposition’s half and showing that they have the potential to be far more than just dark horses for the top four.
With more confidence instilled in players and fans in full voice as ever Anfield is place to be in the coming years with Liverpool certainly looking to make a statement with Klopp in coming years. He has made them believe once again and if Leicester can pull that kind of thing Liverpool under Klopp with that degree of unpredictability certainly can.