Jurgen Klopp has been a revelation as Liverpool manager, and has justified his huge reputation, according to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo.
The 48-year-old is proving to be one of the most popular managerial appointments in recent memory, and has made a hugely encouraging start to life on Merseyside.
Speaking to Anfield HQ, Pearce feels Klopp has done a wonderful job thus far, and feels him being available was a big reason for Brendan Rodgers’ sacking.
“Klopp has been an absolute breath of fresh air. Everyone was down in the dumps and there was so much negativity around the club, but his arrival instantly changed that,” he said.
“At the time, I was surprised at the timing of Rodgers’ sacking. It made more sense for it to happen in the summer, but Klopp’s availability changed things. That’s why they made the move when they did.
“It was clear that FSG had something special up their sleeve when Rodgers was sacked.
“Klopp’s lived up to all that hype and excitement, and it’s been amazing to see the change in the team. Nobody would have seen Liverpool going to Chelsea and Man City and winning like they did, with a group of players who looked so lacking in belief prior to his arrival.
“When you think about the injuries he’s had too, with Danny Ings and Joe Gomez possibly out for the season and Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge out for long spells, it puts into perspective what he has achieved.”
On Sturridge and Henderson, Pearce feels the former will feature against Bordeaux on Thursday evening, but the captain is still not available. He also spoke about how Henderson will fit into the side when he returns.
“I think Sturridge will play some part against Bordeaux, with a view to staking a claim to start against Swansea,” he continued.
“Henderson is bit further behind in terms of progress, and Swansea will come too soon. He’ll need a week to 10 days of full training under his belt before he is back in the squad.
“They won’t want to take risks with him with the busy Christmas schedule on the horizon.
“You have to find a space for Henderson when fit. I would have him ahead of both James Milner and Emre Can, the latter of whom is still a rough diamond.
“Lucas’ place is most secure at the moment, with Joe Allen his only rival in that holding midfield role, but a fully fit Henderson walks into that team.”
When asked about potential January signings, Pearce feels it will be next summer when Klopp does the bulk of his business, and expects Lazar Markovic to be given a second chance at Liverpool.
“I’d be surprised if Liverpool did much business,” he added.
“Klopp might look to bring in one or two players, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was very quiet. Leroy Sane is a player Liverpool have had scouted, but as it stands, it’s not gone any further than that.
“This season will be about Klopp getting the most out of what he’s got. Next summer will be him putting his print on things and helping Liverpool kick onto the next level.
“Markovic will probably be given a chance to prove himself. Klopp has made it clear he likes him, and he was keen to bring him back before next summer.
“He’s one of those players who was a transfer committee buy, and the owners were frustrated that he wasn’t given enough of an opportunity by Rodgers.
“We’ve seen fellow committee signings like Sakho, Moreno and Can shine under Klopp, and the same could happen with Markovic.”
Finally, Pearce discussed Liverpool’s kind-looking upcoming run of fixtures, stating that it is a period that will likely define the Reds’ season.
“It’s a massive spell. You look at the fixtures and think the next half-dozen game are perfectly winnable,” he concluded.
“There are no real certainties in the Premier League, as shown by Liverpool losing at home to Crystal Palace then beating Man City away.
“The challenge is to win games when the opposition stick 10 men behind the ball. They have struggled in that respect.
“If they are going to get in the top four, they need to find some consistency. The key to that is getting the home form right.”
Listen to the full interview here.