We forget that Jurgen Klopp has still only experienced two years of Premier League football.
The Liverpool manager has left his indelible mark on the club, taking them to two cup finals and back into the European elite of the Champions League already.
But the German has faced criticism in recent weeks for rotating some of his best players.
The ‘Fab Four’ of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have run riot in recent weeks, particularly when all four were on target in the 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow.
But Klopp responded by resting Coutinho and Firmino for the Merseyside derby four days later, an encounter that ended in a frustrating 1-1 draw.
Almost instantly his decision was slammed by pundits and fans alike who couldn’t comprehend the logic behind resting two of their most effective players for arguably their biggest game of every season.
But there’s method in the madness.
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Klopp has openly admitted he is still very much acclimatising to the truly demanding concept of a Winter break, something which doesn’t exist in Europe.
And his record, according to research carried out by The Times, emphasises why the Reds’ boss has taken such meticulous care and caution to this season’s version.
Klopp’s record from the most intensive period of his first two seasons in England reads as follows: P34, W11, D11, L12.
That’s right – more defeats than victories in between the start of December and end of January.Distinctly average to say the least.
Last season Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup and League Cup and faded out of the title picture all within a few terrible weeks in January after embarking on a run of 16 games in 63 days.
His job is to ensure there isn’t a repeat this time round.
Poor decision making costing Liverpool
The problem for Klopp is – as much he insists he shoulders the blame for poor results – his players have so far failed to justify his approach with naive and costly decision making.
In the derby against Everton the Reds were utterly dominant but ultimately sacrificed two points after two poor individual errors.
At 1-0 up, Sadio Mane inexplicably opted to shoot himself when he had three team-mates waiting with an open goal at their mercy.
Then Dejan Lovren – soft as it was – inexplicably gave referee Craig Pawson a decision to make when he barged Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the ground, allowing Wayne Rooney to equalise from the penalty spot.
And against West Brom on Wednesday night it was a similar story.
Liverpool again squandered several gilt-edged opportunities in the 0-0 stalemate at Anfield, with the ‘Fab Four’ unusually subdued.
Klopp admitted afterwards: “It was not a game for twenty chances, but we had seven or eight, and we know the boys usually score in moments like this.”
The Reds should have battered Everton and West Brom given their firepower up top, so the buck doesn’t fall with Klopp for their inability to do so.
Long term vision over short term needs
Liverpool’s owners FSG knew what they were buying into when they approach Klopp to replace Rodgers over two years ago.
The German spent seven years at both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, with his managerial mantra about building a legacy rather than short-term solutions.
The same applies to the Winter months.
Klopp is thinking ahead, hoping by the time February comes he’s not left regretting the same mistakes he’s made in the two previous seasons.
It’s just a shame busy keyboard warriors on social media are unable to see that.
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David Silva is a special player but he’s been superhuman even by his standards in recent weeks.
The Manchester City magician has three goals in his last two games and has racked up five strikes and eight assists in the Premier League already.
So with Tottenham coming to the Eithad on Saturday evening, we fancy the wily Spaniard to do it again.