In a rare, welcome cavity of shade from the toasting California sun in July, Jurgen Klopp reflected on his first few months as Liverpool manager by sifting through his storage bank of standout recollections from the technical area.

“I’ve seen my players in some games where I’ve thought: ‘Oooof!’ There were days last season that no-one would have been able to play against us, where nobody would have liked to play against us,” he highlighted while drafting tactical designs for 2016-17 from the club’s Stanford University base during their tour of the United States.

Klopp has already overseen such riveting episodes in this campaign as Liverpool, the Premier League’s top scorers, have been uncontainable in attack and unyielding in their assertiveness over opponents more often that not.

When asked if his assessment in the summer has carried over to this season, he told Goal : “Yes, I’ve had minutes.

“Against Arsenal, the 30 minutes after half-time I thought, ‘My God, what’s that?’

“Chelsea were really competitive, too, they were really physically strong and to face that and to handle that, that was a big, big performance from us.”

And the German would like to file Monday night under "oooof!" too, as makes his first trip to Everton’s Goodison Park for the 227th Merseyside derby - the 195th in the league.

The 49-year-old’s opening sample of the local rivalry was incredibly one-sided. At Anfield in April, a swaggering Liverpool were 2-0 up at half-time before Funes Mori’s straight red after the break completely broke the visitors.

They were lucky to escape with only a 4-0 humiliation following the sending off, as Klopp admitted: “There have been a lot more intensive derbies for sure and there will be a lot more intensive derbies.”

Everton, having stifled a potent Arsenal side in a 2-1 home victory on Tuesday - only their second win in 11 league matches - will want to produce a similarly bullish showing against their neighbours, beaten just twice in 20 games.

Liverpool have turned in big displays on the big occasions this season and Klopp will want to ensure that cycle does not stall at Goodison.

None of Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, defending champions Leicester, nor Manchester United have been able to take maximum points off the Reds, who’ll want to merrily add Everton to the list during a packed festive schedule.

"When you can beat them, everyone is surprised, saying ‘unbelievable, what a record against these teams!’ But that’s only because we defend against them and use the space that we create or they leave open, but that’s it,” Klopp explained.

"Or the other way around, all the other teams could do the same with us, so they can defend against us and use the space we leave open for them.

"That’s what we were working on, because we know a lot of teams will play really compact in defence against us and we need to create some common solutions, that’s what we did."

Part of this process has seen Liverpool slightly nip and tuck their authoritative approach to nullify an opponent’s key strengths. In the 2-1 triumph over West Brom, for example, Tony Pulis’ men had to wait for the 69th minute to have their first corner of the game at Anfield. The home side had drastically reduced the number of dead-ball situations for the Baggies, knowing it’s the supply they most enthusiastically feed off.

Despite not scoring in a goalless draw with Southampton in November, Claude Puel admitted Liverpool’s control in and out of possession forced his charges into a passive, pensive style alien to their usual play.

The Frenchman is one of several managers, league-leading Antonio Conte included, to salute the Reds’ mix of tirelessness and explosiveness.

Klopp, however, knows that as Liverpool continue their development, not every fixture can follow their blueprint as evidenced in the disappointments away to Burnley and Bournemouth.

"Let’s say Hull, was in counter-pressing, the best I’ve seen for a long, long time, unbelievably strong," he detailed.

"We felt so good in this game, everything worked out, we scored the goals in the right moment, and when they got the ball it was like everyone was waiting to lose the ball so we could win it back and the whole stadium enjoyed it.

"In this game we were nearly perfect, next game was Swansea I think, I saw nothing of our counter-pressing, it’s not like cycling, you learn it and will never forget unfortunately.

"It’s quite difficult to always be in this mood and to always have this feeling for the right timing, but this is quite a young squad and we are in a good place, but we have a lot of things to do, but on the way we want to have results."

And Liverpool most definitely are after the best possible one on Monday night in Ronald Koeman’s first Merseyside derby.

Jurgen Klopp was talking to Goal on behalf of New Balance Football. To find out more about New Balance Football go to or follow @NBFootball on Twitter and Instagram, @nbfootballofficial on Facebook and NB.Football on Snapchat.


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