You can see it in their eyes, sense it in the way they’re playing.
You can hear it in the voices of their supporters. It’s in the quickness of their steps as they head to and from the stadium. They are like their team; chests out, heads up, a spring in their step.
It is there in Jurgen Klopp’s poise too, written across his face. He has got that loo, that one that says ‘let’s have it!’ His team, clearly, have had the memo.
Klopp often talks about Liverpool being “in good shape” and rarely during his time at Anfield have those words fitted better than they do now. The Reds, his Reds, are in wonderful shape right now.
Tom Werner, the chairman, was in attendance for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth . So too was Mike Gordon, the president of Fenway Sports Group. The Americans have been in town all week, catching up with their club, its manager and its progress. They have enjoyed themselves, by all accounts, and they will be smiling as they board the plane back to Boston, that’s for sure.
Not every call FSG have made since their arrival at Anfield has been right, but the day they decided that the German with the glasses, the baseball cap and the big personality was the one for them will go down in Liverpool history. Gordon’s charm offensive on Klopp changed everything for the better at this club.
They are loving it, the fans. Loving seeing their team mature and develop, loving the fast, aggressive football they’re producing, and loving the thought of where it might take them, short and long term. ‘We see things they’ll never see’ reads one of the flags on the Kop. It’s true.
Liverpool are improving domestically and competing in Europe. Klopp is building a side that can out-run, out-battle, out-think and out-score any opponent. Bit by bit, step by step, his creation, his masterpiece is unfolding before our eyes.
Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Nope, just reality. No side in England is better to watch than Liverpool right now, no team is playing with more belief or freedom. No side looks as organised, as hungry or as sharp. No side wants to play against them. Just ask Manchester City.
Bournemouth barely laid a glove on them, dominated from start to finish in front of a noisy, colourful crowd. “Allez, Allez, Allez!” sang the home fans. Their eyes are already on that Champions League semi-final with Roma .
Victory here should, barring an unforeseen collapse, see Liverpool to a top-four finish this season. Klopp is closing in on Objective No.1 this season, but the best could be yet to come.
There will be those who suggest he needs a trophy in order to underline the progress his side are making. They miss the point. Klopp may well win the Champions League this season, he may well not, but whatever happens, he’s making things happen at Liverpool. Good things. He’s building a team supporters can be proud of, that they can enjoy and believe in. Do not ever underestimate that in this cynical, impatient world.
He has turned Mo Salah into Europe’s deadliest, Roberto Firmino into one of the most complete No.9s around. He has got Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dejan Lovren playing out of their skin, Trent Alexander-Arnold too. The teenager, Scouse to his core, looks as though he’ll be here for years.
Klopp’s teams cannot defend, they said. They have conceded 10 times in 14 games now, with eight clean sheets in their last 12. Klopp needed a 20-goal striker, they said. He will have three of them come the end of the season. Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane now have 83 between them. Liverpool have scored 300 times in 148 games under this manager.
They have learned the virtues of patience, without losing the speed and skill which makes them so thrilling to watch. They are not perfect, but they have improved immeasurably from this time last season. They are stronger, fitter, quicker, braver, better tactically and more consistent. They have lost just six of their last 60 games in all competitions. At this level, that is some going.
Can it continue? Why not? Injuries have bitten, and will ask questions of a squad which does not yet boast the depth of others, but confidence is a big thing at this stage of a season, and no side has more than Liverpool – from the stands to the pitch. “We’ve conquered all of Europe, we’re never gonna stop!” goes the song.
With Klopp at the helm, they are starting to believe it. Who can blame them?