'He's even better than I thought' – Carragher admits to concerns over Klopp

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Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2018-19
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The former Liverpool defender has praised the German for his influence at Anfield, which has seen the club launch a title challenge this year

Jamie Carragher believes that Jurgen Klopp has exceeded expectations at Liverpool by turning the team into genuine trophy contenders following a strong start to the 2018-19 campaign.

The Reds are top of the Premier League table after a run of 16 matches unbeaten and sit a point ahead of reigning champions Manchester City.

An impressive 4-0 win away at Bournemouth on Saturday saw them reach the summit, while City succumbed to their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Chelsea.

Liverpool are now well poised to win their first league crown since 1990, with steady progress being made under Klopp since he was installed as head coach back in 2015.

Former Reds defender Carragher admits he was initially concerned about Klopp's trophy-winning credentials, but his fears have been allayed by the team's improved consistency this term.

"My worry was it was always going to be an unbelievable ride with Klopp but will Liverpool win the big trophies at the end of it?" he told Sky Sports. "They may not but they've been to a Champions League final already.

"They are top of the league after 16 games and looking like they are going to mount a real title challenge. That's because of the changes Jurgen Klopp has brought in. That's the biggest testament to him as a manager."

Liverpool currently boast the strongest defensive record in England's top flight with just six goals conceded so far this season, as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have forged a formidable centre-back partnership.

After the summer arrivals of Alisson, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho, the team look well balanced from front to back as they continue to fight on three fronts for silverware.

Carragher credits Klopp with making the necessary changes at the club to spark a revival in fortunes, adding: "I think Klopp's pigeonholed as running up and down the line, screaming and shouting and as this motivator but there's not much thought or tactical stuff going on behind the scenes.

"I think there's a myth with every manager because we always pigeonhole managers.

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"But did I think Klopp was capable of making the changes I've seen, certainly this season and the back end of last season? No, so he's actually an even better manager in my eyes for what's happening this season.

"Not because Liverpool are top of the league, because they were top at this stage of the season two years ago under Klopp, but actually the way they are going about it.

"People are saying it's not exciting but that's absolute rubbish. What Liverpool are doing now is much, much better than anything we've seen under Jurgen Klopp since he arrived."