Friday afternoon saw Jurgen Klopp meet the media in advance of Liverpool v Newcastle on Saturday.
It seems an awful long time ago when on 6 December 2014 Newcastle brought Kloppmania to an abrupt halt.
A second string Liverpool had just beaten Southampton 6-1 away from home in the League Cup and were on a winning four match run, which also included a stunning 4-1 victory at Manchester City.
Nevertheless, a very committed Newcastle stifled Liverpool and in the end ran out worthy 2-0 winners, though the excellent second goal (Wijnaldum) did make the scoreline a tad flattering, considering that was United’s first shot on target (first goal was an OG from Skrtel).
With Liverpool once again on a run of four games on the bounce and scoring 15 goals in the process (only two defeats in last 15 games), Jurgen Klopp looks to have his team in great form and on the brink of a Europa League final which would provide a route into the Champions League if they win it.
However, speaking on Friday afternoon, Jurgen Klopp claims that with five days until the first leg of the semis in Spain, it won’t affect his team selection against Newcastle.
When you have players like Daniel Sturridge as not a certain starter, it is difficult to know what team you hope Klopp decides on.
The Liverpool boss praised Newcastle for the physical side of their game so that could influence his team selection, though it won’t include Origi who was injured against Everton, nor Benteke who is still on his way back from injury.
It is a sobering thought that Everton picked up six points against Newcastle, including a demolition job at Goodison, yet Liverpool produced 37 shots at their goal on Wednesday night and the four they scored could easily have been double figures.
Newcastle fans are counting on the team being more organised and made of sterner stuff under Rafa Benitez, somebody who Jurgen Klopp says he knows and likes.
Let’s hope Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are as obliging and generous with their play, as their manager was with his pre-match words.
Jurgen Klopp at his pre Liverpool v Newcastle press conference:
“We have five days between Saturday and Villarreal so we don’t need to think about that game.
“We know all about the physical strength of Newcastle – we need a team who are really fit for this game.
“They have a strong team and they don’t look like a relegation team. Only one of them, Sunderland and Norwich can stay up.
“First half against Everton was very intense, that is what it will take against Newcastle. It won’t be an easy second half against them.
“Four wins in a row means nothing for the next game. That is just a number.
“I know him. I like Rafa. He’s a really successful manager and a nice person.”
“If someone wants to celebrate Rafa’s achievements here tomorrow that’s absolutely okay. I’m fine with this. Do how you feel.
“Good news is that Christian (Benteke) feels good. He wants to train. We will give him a few more days. No team training yet.”
“Daniel (Sturridge) is able to create his own moments. He doesn’t always need an assist. We need to think about who will start.“