How Jurgen Klopp’s new leaders have changed the squad dynamic this season

There has been a marked contrast in leadership styles compared to last season.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp’s new leaders in Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold are relishing their roles in ‘Liverpool 2.0.’

The Dutch defender seems to be enjoying his newfound responsibility amongst the squad, with his performances suggesting as much.

Trent Alexander-Arnold led by example at the Etihad over the weekend, earning a pivotal point against Liverpool’s title rivals.

However, it’s not only on the pitch that the duo are doing their leading – but off it as well.

It is already known how Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold helped the squad get over the Tottenham Hotspur defeat, but the pair have changed the general environment at the AXA Training Centre as well.

The LFC players have recognized a change in style of leadership according to the Echo.

Under Jordan Henderson and James Milner, there was a strict no-nonsense approach.

The ex-Liverpool men would routinely introduce stringent disciplinary policies, such as fines for poor timekeeping or mobile phones around the team dinner table.

It could be construed as the ‘old-school way’ of managing a squad of players, akin to the Roy Keane’s of this world.

However, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold are reportedly keen on relying on self-policing to foster a culture of collective responsibility.

Outwardly, it seems as if the new approach to discipline has paid off – judging by the cheery atmosphere amongst the squad and the results of course.

Alexander-Arnold spoke previously about how he no longer considers himself a young player anymore, saying:

“I’ve realised, for me, I’m not a young player anymore.”

“[I’m] getting into hopefully the peak years of my career and how can I get the best out of that?”

“I’m the one that’s responsible for it, I’m the one that can make that happen.” 

It then seems his and van Dijk’s view on discipline is helping the 25-year0old get the best out of his peak years, as when the team plays well – so does Alexander-Arnold.

The Reds are next in UEFA Europa League action against LASK at Anfield on Thursday evening.

Related articles: