Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League in stunning fashion on Sunday, and former manager Ian Holloway has heaped praise on Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool romped past Chelsea despite a couple of nervous moments on Sunday, reclaiming their position two points above Manchester City at the top of the division, though the champions of course have a game in hand.
The Reds were average at best in the first half against the Blues, but whatever Klopp said to his players at half time worked and then some, as they came out after the break fired up to hyper-speed and shot out to a two-goal lead.
Holloway is stunned by the club’s resurgence under the German, and the ex-Crystal Palace boss and now TalkSPORT pundit had this to say: “I think their manager is bordering on genius.”
Who has the loudest fans in Europe? PSG certainly state their claim in the video below…
“When he said ‘look this team has been together one year, we’ve got to forget the other 29 that we haven’t done it for’, and he’s enjoying it and the pressure seems to have gone.”
You can watch the full clip here.
While there has been plenty of talk about Klopp’s tactical expertise, brilliant eye in the transfer market and lovable relationship with his players, Holloway has hit on one of the more underrated aspects of the ex-Dortmund hero’s management – controlling expectations.
During the 1-1 draw against Leicester at Anfield, one could almost feel the nerves and doubts spreading around Anfield, and it really did seem like the entire cause was teetering on the edge of turning back from believers into doubters, so much so that one wrong word or decision from the boss may have tipped it over the edge.
Klopp has righted the ship though, and his ability to manage expectations, both of the fans and the players, has played a huge part in creating this never-say-die attitude that his squad and crowd now shows in the stadium week in week out.
If not for Klopp’s intelligence in making a joke out of “the slip”, keeping his players’ eyes firmly on the prize and getting the fans to truly believe, this title push may well have collapsed not long after those draws against Leicester and West Ham.