“AT the moment, all of the LFC family is a little bit too nervous, a little bit too pessimistic, too often in doubt.”
Those were Jurgen Klopp’s words in his first interview as Liverpool manager. He was in the city only for a few hours, but he had correctly diagnosed the atmosphere around the club. Everything he had watched, read and picked up on suggested the “faith is the weapon our enemies most fear” stance was no longer apt: fatalism is now all the rage.
On Wednesday evening, Daniel Sturridge spoke for the first time since picking up a knee injury on October 15. In fact, the striker has consciously done very limited media this season as he concentrates on returning to his best possible shape.
The 26-year-old revealed he was “fit and ready to go.” Positive news. A massively encouraging update given his injury troubles as well as the club’s. The reaction to his words went something like this…
“How soon before he’s crocked again?”
“What came first? The chicken, the egg or a Sturridge injury?”
“Yeah, we’ve heard that one before…”
“What lasts longer? A crisp or Sturridge?”
“Let’s place a bet what his next niggle will be…”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it. He’s got 99 problems and injuries are all of them, but is it too much to ask to just temporarily park the pessimism? Allow yourselves a chance to be happy? To, you know, be a supporter?
Klopp is a football romantic, who “likes the emotion in the game.” When he stood and took in The Kop as Borussia Dortmund manager in August last year, it was one of the experiences he always wanted: to feel the famed aura of a storied Anfield.
Part of the reason he is back on L4, this time as Reds boss, is because he felt a connection to that kind of magic: when players and supporters push each above and beyond, making the unbelievable the actuality.
The reality is that such belief is a fantasy now. Klopp has been instructing his squad to play from their hearts instead of their heads, and perhaps the fanbase should follow the same path.
There’s so many things to be miserable and cynical about, why add Liverpool to the list?
Klopp’s outlook on just about everything is so refreshing. When he delivered the side’s injury updates in his press conference on Thursday, all of them contained positivity.
Jordan Henderson is “in a really good way”. Mamadou Sakho “is not that serious”. Sturridge “may only need five minutes of training” as can be the case sometimes with strikers. Even where-is-he-now? Jose Enrique got a shoutout from the manager.
The man the masses wanted as Liverpool boss is here. He’s made a difference to the attitude of the players. We’ve seen aspects of his fighting football on the pitch. The press hang on his every word. His guffaw is the dog’s bollocks. And the hugs, oh the hugs…
Fans should be extending that positivity, feeding off it and spreading it like butter on toast. Not rolling their eyes and rubbishing practically everything.
The 48-year-old has referenced the doubt on multiple occasions. He has already “felt pretty alone” in the job, which he hasn’t even been in for two months yet. #KloppForTheKop has materialised, but perhaps it’s time to initiate #TheKopForKlopp?
We rate the players, we berate the players, we get on their backs, we get off early…
Part of trying to be the hardest team in the world to beat is having the hardest supporters in the world to discourage. Can we be this? Let’s try to be this…
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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo