In a little over a month, Jurgen Klopp has shown himself to be not so normal, by completely changing the mentality of the Liverpool players, and the results look like they are beginning to follow suit.
What stood out in Liverpool’s 4-1 masterclass was the swagger with which they took a 3-0 lead within the first half an hour of the game, and the confidence that helped them see the game out.
Fears began to creep in when Sergio Aguero gave City a lifeline on the stroke of half time, however Klopp’s men overcame a big test to take home all three points.
Even the much-maligned Dejan Lovren looked in good form, in one of the most complete Liverpool performances in recent times, in which it would be hard to single out one under-performer.
The way in which Klopp went on the pitch after the match to personally congratulate each of his players is one of the little things which can be so important for the morale of the team.
One of Liverpool’s biggest issues over the last 18 months has been the confidence of the players, which is something that the new manager has been looking to improve from the minute he joined the club, and he is starting to reap the rewards.
Players like Alberto Moreno and Jordon Ibe have been two of the main beneficiaries of Klopp’s morale-boosting tactics, looking like totally different players since he took over.
After Luis Suarez left the club, the Reds had struggled to score goals, something which can be attributed to a lack of confidence and composure in front of goal.
However, Liverpool looked lethal against City, causing major problems for the opposition defence, looking likely to score with every attack.
This is in no small part to Coutinho’s performance, chipping in with a goal and an assist, putting his early season form well and truly behind him by running rings around City’s central defenders.
One of the only negatives to come out of the game was midway through the second half when the little Brazilian was forced off holding his hamstring, which the Reds will be praying is nothing too serious.
Coutinho’s recent form is a prime example of the foundations that Klopp is laying at Anfield, and if his players can sustain a similar level of performance, they should have no worries about Champions League qualification.
In comparison, the self-proclaimed “special one” Jose Mourinho has severely struggled to boost the morale of his players, with rumours circulating that he has lost several key players in the dressing room, hence Chelsea’s struggle to perform to their full potential on the pitch.
Klopp is teaching a valuable lesson about the importance of mentality in creating a winning formula, involving constant praise of his players, but also keeping them grounded after big wins.
His policy of “never too high, never too low” appears to rubbing off onto his players, bouncing back from a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, just a fortnight ago, in the best possible fashion.
It is crucial that the Reds maintain this positive mind-set, particularly with the vast competition for a place in the top four, one thing that is certain is that the feel good factor is returning to the club.
With the mood of the fans translating to the players and staff, there is no reason why Klopp’s men can’t have a successful campaign, thanks to their pretty special manager.
MAN CITY 1-4 LIVERPOOL