There is a pleasing cyclical nature to this Saturday’s early kick-off.
Three years ago, Jurgen Klopp took charge of his first game as Liverpool boss.
The Reds drew 0-0 away to Spurs at White Hart Lane (RIP) in what was the official start of the Klopp revolution in the North West.
While rival fans will point to a barren trophy cabinet as evidence to the contrary, most agree the club has progressed significantly under the German gaffer’s watch.
Liverpool have come out on the wrong end of three finals in the last two years, including a loss to Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final.
Not only has Klopp enforced an intense, entertaining style of play, he has built a squad brimming with talent that runs deep.
Obviously he has been backed by the board — world-class players don’t come cheap.
To get a sense of just how far Liverpool have come, let’s take a look at Klopp’s first bench versus his most recent…
- Adam Bogdan
- Jerome Sinclair
- Connor Randall
- Kolo Toure
- Joao Teixeira
- Jordon Ibe
- Joe Allen
Decent players one and all but you only have to run through where they all are now to get a sense of their level.
Jerome Sinclair is currently on loan at League One’s Sunderland having joined Watford in 2016.
Connor Randall is still on Liverpool’s books, cutting his teeth on loan at Rochdale.
While Joao Teixeira recently joined Vitoria de Guimares back in his native Portugal.
Incredibly, Adam Bogdan is still a Liverpool player — the Hungarian keeper is on loan at Hibs.
Lovely Joe Allen is knocking it about in the Championship with Stoke and certified cult hero Kolo Toure hung up his boots in 2017 after an invincible season with Celtic.
- Simon Mignolet
- Joel Matip
- Xherdan Shaqiri
- Alberto Moreno
- Jordan Henderson
- Danny Sturridge
Simon Mignolet and Moreno both started Klopp’s first game in charge, but they are very much back-up players this season.
Fabinho is £43.7million worth of talent who isn’t even sure of a spot on the bench at the moment.
Club captain Jordan Henderson has had a good year but even he must occasionally make way these days.
And we all know what Danny Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri are capable of — both would be guaranteed starters for most Premier League teams.
Of course, the doubters will only be silenced when Klopp delivers a trophy.
But surely it’s only a matter of time.
- Marco Asensio and nine other players who ONLY score incredible goals
- Real Madrid signed the wrong brother from their rivals last summer
- All the times Didier Drogba gave Arsenal defenders panic attacks