While Liverpool still sit right on Manchester City’s coat-tails in the Premier League and in a very strong position to qualify from the group in the Champions League, there are still some murmurs of discontent.
Following Liverpool’s 1-0 win away at Huddersfield over the weekend, Klopp’s side have come under a fair bit of scrutiny for their performance, as it was a far cry from the fluent, aesthetically pleasing displays fans have become so accustomed to since Klopp took charge at Anfield.
However, a goal from The Egyptian King himself Mo Salah, ensured that the Reds came away with all three points and remained unbeaten in the league.
It’s true that the performance was scruffy, scrappy and a bit scary at times when Huddersfield were knocking on the door, but nevertheless the win was secured.
With more and more calls from fans for Liverpool to rediscover their free-flowing, free-scoring form from last season, it may be that the next run of fixtures is of some benefit to Liverpool.
In the next four match days in all competitions, Klopp will guide his side into home and away ties against Red Star Belgrade and a home game against strugglers Cardiff in the Premier League. Sandwiched in at match day three of the next four games is that away trip to Arsenal though, let us not forget.
Even in any normal circumstance, this trio of games would give most fans a real sense of anticipation that not only can Liverpool realistically notch up three more wins and extend their unbeaten domestic run further – as well as making massive strides towards qualifications to the Champions League group stage – but they should also see it as the perfect opportunity to rediscover their attacking threat once more.
On paper, both Red Star and Cardiff represent little threat to Liverpool but present a huge chance to record big victories, get key men scoring again and boost the confidence even higher in the squad – all ahead of the crunch match against Arsenal which falls in between games against Cardiff and Red Star away.
What a way to build up to a big game against a rejuvenated Arsenal side than by really putting two teams to the sword like we all know this Liverpool team is capable of doing. And with the second Red Star tie falling immediately after the Arsenal match, should things go badly at The Emirates, it gives the Reds a great chance to bounce back from any kind of negative result.
While Club captain Jordan Henderson has said in his programme notes ahead of the Anfield clash with Red Star, the off-field criticism is perhaps unfair. Liverpool are simply more resolute at present, but the signs are all there that the free-scoring form of last season could return in an instant.
He cites the movements and work-rate of the forwards he sees in front of him, and the general effort the whole team is putting in, both in attack and defence. This movement, this desire will inevitably pay off at some point, with someone in line for a pasting when everything finally clicks.
Just because the goals aren’t there, as Henderson says, doesn’t mean it’s the beginning of the end of the world.
The players have total belief in their manager, and that feeling is mirrored from the touchline by Jürgen Klopp, and I share that sentiment: it’s all going to slot into place in dramatic fashion very soon.
And this is why these games against Red Star and Cardiff come at the perfect time. Let’s take Cardiff, for example.
A team struggling with life in the Premier League under Neil Warnock, and a team struggling to keep the ball out of the back of their net having conceded 19 goals in the league so far this season. This will no doubt make Salah, Mané and Firmino lick their lips with excitement.
If we also look at Red Star, their stats paint a tougher picture domestically having only conceded seven goals in 12 games. But in the Champions League, they’re not fared as well, conceding six goals in their two games so far. Again, an appetising prospect for the Reds.
They present a great chance for Liverpool to find their finest form again, to get some goals under their belt and build their momentum going forward. It will by no means be easy, but Liverpool will get few better opportunities to get firing again.