In the post-match press conference after our Klopp’s first home game last year, he appeared to suggest we lacked a mental toughness.
Sadio Mane had just scored a late equaliser for Southampton to grab them a 1-1 draw, cancelling out Benteke’s opener.
“There are still 10 minutes to go and I think we could see tonight and learn tonight we did not give up physically but we didn’t believe any more that we could turn this game, switch this result around,” said Klopp.
“That’s a problem. One goal and it feels like the end of the world. It’s not, it’s just a goal. You can come back always, we have to understand.” (Echo)
Even way back then, our new boss had identified a key weakness. It was something we seemed to get better at as the season went on (Dortmund!), but there were still moments of capitulation (Newcastle, Sunderland, Watford).
This summer he went out to try and fix some of our problems. It might be easy to identify height for our defence or speed for our attack, but it’s less easy to identify mentally tough players.
Sadio’s latest quotes, however, suggest Klopp chose wisely:
“People will talk about it (the transfer fee) but I don’t feel the pressure,” he said. “I have always believed in my quality and I know what I can do for my team.” (Echo)
To be honest, we’ve all put quite a lot of expectation on his shoulders – look how desperate we all were for him to be fit for Spurs – but so far he has handled it beautifully.
Long may it continue!