Tuesday 25 September 2018

John Aldridge: Something has changed at Liverpool and it's not just the players

Naby Keita of Liverpool goes past Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace
Naby Keita of Liverpool goes past Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool goalscoring great John Aldridge believes there is a new-found belief inside Jurgen Klopp's dressing room that could help to turn them from contenders into title winners this season.

A glut of big money signings have lifted expectations around Liverpool after some near misses in major cup finals in recent years, with Aldo suggesting Klopp's team have developed a fear factor that will enhance their chances of success.

"It is not just the changes in personal that have inflated the expectations around Liverpool this season as I sensed a change in the team's aura as I stood pitch side for last Sunday’s opening day win against West Ham," states Aldridge.

"This time last year, I was among those questioning why the club's owners were not spending money to back manager Jurgen Klopp and give him the squad depth he needed to challenge for major trophies, but the events of the last few months have banished those concerns. 

"The £75m signing of Virgil van Dijk in January backed up by the arrivals of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabhino and Xherdan Shaqiri this summer have convinced the doubters that Liverpool are genuine contenders for trophies and I sense Klopp's players believe that as well now.

"Liverpool started last season with the quietest defensive line in the Premier League, with keeper Simon Mignolet, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Alberto Moreno all preferring to go about their work without too much talking amongst themselves.

"To be honest, none of them would be classed as leaders, but I looked at Alisson, Van Dijk and Andy Robertson against West Ham last weekend and they were all vocal, working together and guiding youngsters Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold through the game.

"All of a sudden, Liverpool have big characters in that defensive line and that will help them as they look to eradicate the errors that proved to be so costly in the first half of last season."

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