Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2022-23 16:9Getty

Inside Liverpool’s nightmare season: How Klopp’s ‘mentality giants’ became also-rans in the space of five months

It feels like a lifetime ago now, but Liverpool actually went into this season riding a wave of optimism.

Having narrowly missed out on the most remarkable of quadruples in May, Jurgen Klopp’s side looked as if they were ready to roll once more by the time July came around.

Victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield at Leicester’s King Power Stadium suggested the Reds had lost none of their hunger or spark.

New signing Darwin Nunez marked his debut with a goal, ensuring an instant rapport with the travelling Kop, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah were also on the scoresheet, while City new-boy Erling Haaland was shackled well by Virgil van Dijk & Co. at the other end. 

“We’re ready to go again,” declared Klopp, who looked like a man at ease with the world, and with himself. 

Fast forward five months, and the landscape has shifted considerably. That early-season hope has long since evaporated, each disjointed performance and underwhelming result serving to chip away at the confidence, belief and aura of a side once labelled – and correctly so too – “mentality giants” by its manager.

Liverpool lost only four times in 63 games in all competitions last term, but they have already lost six of 27 this time around.

They have won less than half of their Premier League matches, decimating their title chances and leaving them facing an uphill battle to secure even the “minimum aim” of Champions League qualification.

They travel to Brighton this weekend, and it’s difficult to make a case for them being favourites.

How did it come to this? How did the mood around Anfield change so quickly, after the heady heights of spring and summer?

GOAL takes you inside the Reds’ rotten run…

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