Vincent Kompany: Jurgen Klopp’s ‘Liverpool 2.0’ resembles title-winning form

Vincent Kompany believes Liverpool are back to the level that brought them the Premier League title four years ago following Jurgen Klopp’s summer overhaul.

Liverpool sits top of the table going into the weekend and Saturday’s visit of Kompany’s Burnley, aiming to bring the curtain down on Klopp’s reign with a 20th domestic league title.

Kompany, who faced several battles with Liverpool as a player and came up against them for the first time as a manager in Burnley’s 2-0 home defeat on Boxing Day, believes Klopp’s ‘Liverpool 2.0’ is up there with the best sides he has constructed.

“If I compare the Liverpool teams I played against and the Liverpool team we’re seeing now they are there or thereabouts again. It’s not to do with the results. It’s how the team moves, the confidence they have when pressing on the front foot,” Kompay said.

“The players are still getting integrated, some of them (but you see) how quickly they have assimilated the ideas of the better Liverpool teams of recent times. It’s a normal part of how you turn a squad around is you evolve a little bit in how they treat possession but the key ingredients are back from what I can tell.”

Kompany did not always enjoy facing Klopp as a player and never tasted a win at Anfield during his long and hugely successful stay at Manchester City, but said Klopp had helped push City to ever higher standards during their often tense title battles.

In 2018-19, Kompany’s last season as City captain, City won their final 14 league games of the season to pip Liverpool to the title by a single point.

“In these types of title battles, when you’ve got three months of the season left and you know you have to win the next 15 games it means you treat wins differently,” Kompany said.

“Wins are just one step, you know you’ve got another 14 to win or 13 to win.”It seemed to be that way for a number of years. Those were my playing days, I’m a manager now and it’s different, but it definitely gets the best out of you.”

Klopp announced his decision to step down at the end of the season last month. Liverpool won their next two games but their title hopes suffered a setback in last weekend’s 3-1 loss away to Arsenal.

The knowledge that a manager is leaving can affect teams in different ways. Kompany was part of the City side that faded in the second half of Manuel Pellegrini’s final season, with Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival having been announced at the start of February 2016.

“It happened to me a couple of times but it’s different everywhere so it’s difficult to say (what impact it has),” Kompany said.

“I can’t go and make any statements on how they’re going to finish the season. We’ll find out when we find out. But also it’s not much my concern. I wish him and them, after our game, as much good fortune as they need.”

(story credit: SABC Sport)

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