Liverpool look different six years on from German’s bow
Top of the Klopps
Published: Apr 15, 2021 06:28 PM
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp Photo: VCG

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp Photo: VCG

When Juergen Klopp arrived at Anfield the club were in a sorry state and it is safe to say that he has made the team in his own image since.

Last season's English Premier League champions ended 30 years of hurt since Liverpool last won the title and this came off the back of the season before where they ran Manchester City to the very last in a record breaking season.

On top of that Klopp's team beat Spurs to win the UEFA Champions League going one better than the season before where they lost in the final to Real Madrid.

This season might not end with silverware - Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday night and they can no longer retain the Premier League mathematically - but they can still secure European football this season and helped themselves with a win over Aston Villa last weekend.

"It is a little bit ourselves this year with the finishing because we had ridiculous games here that we should have won. We know how often Mo Salah finishes these things with closed eyes. Not here," Klopp said after the match against Real Madrid on Wednesday. "We love this competition and for different reasons it is very important for this club. 

"Now we can concentrate unfortunately on the Premier League but we will. We just read the table, we know the points. If we want it we need to play really good football. I think we are not in a bad moment. We are not silly, we want what we earn. If we don't earn it, we don't get it. We will have to run our socks off."

It should not be forgotten how far Klopp has taken the team in six short years.

In fact, it is fair to say that Liverpool are unrecognizable from the first starting 11 that he put out in the Premier League on October 8, 2015, a game against Mauricio ­Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur that ended 0-0.

Liverpool players react after their defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

Liverpool players react after their defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

Simon Mignolet

Belgian goalkeeper Mignolet is now back in his homeland with Club Brugge having been sold on in 2019. Mignolet lost his place to Loris Karius, who in turn was replaced by current keeper Alisson as Klopp looked to secure the sticks.

Alberto Moreno

The Spanish left back is with Villarreal in La Liga, whom he joined in 2019. Only 28, he has struggled with injury since returning to Spain. Struggled under Klopp since the 2016 Europa League final loss to Sevilla. First replaced by James Milner, in one of his many utility roles, and then by current left back Andy Robertson.

Mamadou Sakho

Now at Crystal Palace, the centre back fell foul of Klopp for a failed drug test and then misbehaving on a preseason tour of the US, from which he was sent home. Sakho went on loan to Palace, who chose to make the move permanent.

Martin Skrtel

Istanbul Basaksehir defender Skrtel was at Liverpool for nine seasons before leaving in 2016. He moved to Fenerbahce first and after an unsuccessful spell with Serie A side Atalanta moved to the other side of Istanbul. Long gone before Liverpool's current colossus Virgil Van Dijk arrived.

Nathaniel Clyne

The right back is at Palace with Sakho, the club where he started his career. Forced out of Anfield by the success of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who took his opportunity in Clyne's injury absence, he was allowed on loan to Bournemouth before being allowed to leave at the end of his contract.

Emre Can

The German international is back in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund having walked out of Anfield in 2018 at the end of his contract. Can chose Juventus and saw some success but was dropped from the Champions League squad by boss Maurizio Sarri.

Lucas Leiva

Left Liverpool for Lazio after a decade at Anfield in 2017. Still much loved by the Kop.

James Milner

One of two members of Klopp's starters that day who are still at the club. Little needs to be said about a player who has been key to Liverpool's success, just as he was at previous club Manchester City.

Philippe Coutinho

The Brazilian was sold for 118 million to Barcelona after five years wowing the Premier League since arriving from Inter Milan. He has been less successful in La Liga but won the Champions League on loan at Bayern Munich last season. Spent much of this campaign out injured.

Adam Lallana

The England international arrived from Southampton is now back on the south coast with Brighton and Hove Albion. Joined the Seagulls in 2020.

Divock Origi

The other Belgian in the team that day against Spurs is the only player along with Milner to have been kept around by Klopp. He might not be first choice any longer but he has written himself into Anfield folklore with some vital goals for the club.

All of the subs that day have also moved on. Kolo Toure retired in 2017 and is now working with former boss Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City. Joe Allen moved to Stoke City, Jordan Ibe is also in the Championship with Derby County after moving to Bournemouth in 2016 while Adam Bogdan left for Hibernian in 2019 before heading home to Hungary where he plays for Ferencvaros.

Academy graduate Jordan Sinclair is at CSKA Sofia, moving to Bulgaria on loan from Watford, for whom he signed from Liverpool in 2016. Joao Carlos Teixeira plies his trade at Feyenoord via a loan spell at Brighton and a return to his native Portugal, while academy graduate Connor Randall is now at Ross County in Scotland following a move to Bulgaria.