Jurgen Klopp can chop and change his lineup however many times he pleases, but Liverpool in all their variations have rediscovered the fun of it all – and it shows.
Last season was a drag, it was written all over the faces of the players, the manager and the fans – the hangover from what came before lasted longer than any of us had anticipated.
A late revival at the backend of last season lit the spark, and while the club’s transfer business could be debated for hours on end, they successfully breathed new life into the squad.
No one wanted Europa League football but it was the fate the Reds handed themselves, and it could yet prove to be just what this team need in the next phase of its evolution.
We have Jurgen bouncing from one game to the next, Darwin Nunez harnessing his chaos and proving a nuisance to the opposition, and a depth in the squad that is being showcased at every opportunity.
The fun is back.
The best kind of enigma
“I saw my team…how hard we really wanted it and I’m really happy about that. It was a top cup game in strange, strange circumstances,” Klopp assessed after making the last eight of the League Cup.
He made eight changes at Bournemouth, and if there was any day to be miserable and let standards slip it was this one, with the south coast treating us to some spectacularly horrid conditions.
That wasn’t the case. Although the standard of play was far from receiving worldwide acclaim, the Reds didn’t need that, they just needed to keep rolling on and to leave with a win.
Nunez was not for simplicity, though. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Liverpool’s maverick has been a handful this season and his seventh goal of the campaign was spectacular and he, understandably, stole the headlines for his moment of brilliance.
The No. 9 has been one to benefit from the feel-good factor bubbling away at Liverpool, he may want to be starting more games but the revitalised Reds have made for a more potent Darwin Nunez.
He may have us with our head in our hands with a bubble of laughter to couple it one match, but then he goes and does that not long later – he’s the best kind of enigma.
Nunez brings the fun, the chaos and it feeds those around him, you can say the same occurs with every rotated side Klopp names, as his squad know chances will come their way.
Jarell Quansah seized his latest opportunity on Thursday, the 20-year-old not looking out of place in the backline, he touched the ball 39 times more than any other player – recording an impressive passing accuracy of 89 percent.
The youngster is one of four academy players to debut for the club so far – we’re just 15 games into the season – and his youthful exuberance will be rubbing off on others.
With an average of 6.2 changes every game, Liverpool are refreshed and continually showing off the squad depth that has not always been available to them – and there’s still players to come back from injury too.
From the top down
There is something to say about Liverpool’s renewed spirit and how revitalised Klopp and the players look – it promises so much for what still lie in wait for this season.
It is what sport and football is all about, the hope and the possibilities and Liverpool have not been shy about what could be on the cards – especially Dominik Szoboszlai.
He is arguably the poster boy for Liverpool 2.0, a player who refuses to let off the gas for even one second and has wasted no time in endearing himself to the Liverpool faithful.
The old guard have their tails up, the new signings are settling in without too many bumps in the road and the pathway is well and truly open for youngsters to make the step up.
Klopp is glowing again and calls for another contract extension are growing, as who could think to leave a team with growing potential, a team with an average age in the league of 25.9 years, down from last season’s average of 27.2 years.
Revitalised and refreshed, the fun has returned not just for the team and Klopp, but, importantly, for the fans who travel up and down the country and across Europe week in and week out.
Who knows what the rest of the season may entail, but it is guaranteed to be a lot of fun. Enjoy the ride, Reds!