By Barry Meehan
As with most Liverpool fans this has not been a particularly enjoyable couple of weeks for me. One point earned from an available 9 against what we would usually term beatable opposition leaves a bad taste in the mouth and brings all that pessimism that built up in us over the last few years back to the surface. The fact that we thought we were past all this seems to make things even harder but it’s important to remember that far from being in the same situation, going through the motions like we had been for the previous few months/ years, we are actually only at the beginning of what is sure to become a bright new future under a young world class manager who would pretty much walk into any other job in world football if he were so inclined. Jürgen Klopp was confirmed as Liverpool FC’s manager back in early October, he is in the third month of his tenure having had very little opportunity to properly stamp his authority on the squad. No pre-season, no transfer window and not a lot of time to make judgements on who does or does not fit into his style of play. In the finite amount of time available so far there is actually only one thing that he could have truly learned and that is that when it comes to getting Liverpool back to where we belong there is no quick fix available that can solve all our ills. This is going to be a long term project so thankfully we have a manager in-situ who has proven in his previous 2 roles that if you give him time and support he can absolutely turn that into solid achievement.
What we have seen so far has been understandably inconsistent, yes there have been some very disappointing displays coupled with some very poor results but there have also been hugely encouraging performances alongside impressive results, 3-1 against Chelsea, 4-1 against City as well as a 6-1 demolition of Southampton should act as a candle which lights the current darkness and reminds us that when it clicks things can be good, but until the manager has been able to build his own team and implement his own ideas we will struggle to reach such levels on a consistent basis.
Given that there have been so many strange results throughout the league this season and very few of the usual top performers (in other words the richest clubs) have managed to maintain a level of consistency I think it is understandable that after some encouraging early performances Liverpool supporters started to look up the table and say “what if…” however the performance levels since then have been a stark reminder of how difficult things really are.
This is a crazy season and this is highlighted by the fact that even now we are only 5 points off the top 4. But even with that reality in mind I truly believe that our focus for the remainder of this season must be on building Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Our new manager needs time to try some different things, test out players and situations to find out what works, what is needed, what we have already that is useful, what needs to removed and what needs to be added. I think that if, as supporters, we can accept this we can enjoy the high’s and lows of the season as it plays out and know that once we are through this difficult period we will be much better off for having gone through it. Its not to say we should write off the season, we should still take every game as it comes and if we can string together a few results who knows where it may lead us. We are still in every cup competition as well so the chance for some glory still exists but our focus needs to shift from winning at all costs to building at all costs. If a little bit of experimentation costs us a result or two we might need to live with that. No matter what happens from here through to the end of the campaign, lets be re-assured that we have the right man at the helm leading this club. Lets support the team and take confidence from the fact that every lesson learned this season will lead to a brighter future. Lets let the man do his job, maybe some of the players are not good enough, lets give the manager time to be confident in deciding that and to identify who needs to be replaced. Lets not allow that in-fighting and bickering to take hold again. Lets stay together behind a proven winner. Lets understand that sometimes its better to forego the quick fix in order to achieve even greater rewards in the future.