Jurgen Klopp has had an interesting time since he arrived at Liverpool in October 2015.
Finishing eighth in 2015/16 with 60 points after taking over during that season, he then progressed the scousers to fourth place and 76 points last season, now they are third and only two points behind Man Utd with 57 points from 28 matches, at that rate they will be looking at further improvement with a final total of around 77 or 78 points.
This week has also seen Jurgen Klopp go past the halfway mark in chasing down one of Rafa Benitez’ records that he set at Liverpool in his six year stay.
In November 2004, Rafa suffered his first ever home defeat in the Premier League, a shock loss to Birmingham.
It would be another 622 days before he saw another one, in fact in close to a complete five year spell, Rafa Benitez would see Liverpool lose only five Premier League games at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp saw his team beat West Ham 4-1 last weekend and that means in the lead up to the Newcastle match, he has just this week gone past the halfway mark of Rafa’s 622 days record without a defeat at Anfield.
To put Rafa’s record in some kind of perspective, his Newcastle team in a 53 days spell from November to December, lost five Premier League games in a row at St James Park, losing to Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester, Everton and Man City, failing even to score in four of the five.
Liverpool had three seasons in the 1970s when they went unbeaten at home in the league, two seasons in the 1980s, then Rafa Benitez repeated the trick in 2008/09.
Jurgen Klopp is now in line to do the same this season with already 14 games unbeaten at Anfield, Rafa Benitez obviously a possibility to stop that on Saturday.
However, the Liverpool boss says that his team can’t get complacent: ‘We cannot stop…we have a lot of games to play still’, even though they are playing great football and scoring goals for fun, with nine in just their last two games (West Ham and Porto).
Again to put that into perspective, Newcastle have only scored eight goals in total in their last nine Premier League games.
However, Rafa thwarted Liverpool at St James Park with a 1-1 draw and even in that relegation run-in of 2015/16, Newcastle came back and drew 2-2 at Anfield.
If one day Rafa Benitez ever gets significant backing at Newcastle in the transfer market then we might see a fairer contest but for now, we will be hoping that once again the United boss can get another result against the odds.
“We cannot stop…we have a lot of games to play still.
“I have said it a lot of times…we have created a proper basis, that’s it.
“If we hadn’t played football like this, or the last game, or the game before that, we could not be where we are.
“We know with the quality we have, we are responsible for good results.
“The only problem we have is that there are a few other teams with quality as well.
“So we have to score, we have to create, we have to make and score goals, we have to defend and we need to be ready for each game.”