Newcastle setback a reminder this Liverpool team needs to walk before it can run

A defeat to Newcastle brought Liverpool back down to earth with a thud after days of being talked up in the media.

One day there's talk of Liverpool somehow putting together a title challenge under a manager who won't have been there an entire season come May, the next they're right back down to earth after a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United. 

The fact there was even talk of the former is testament to the work that Jurgen Klopp has done since his arrival at Anfield. 11 games in and he had Liverpool in the semi-finals of the League Cup, qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League and within six points of the top. In that time there have been sparkling away day performances against Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton. 

But Jurgen Klopp himself has said there are going to be one or two setbacks on the way. His 12th game in charge was one of them.

After all, they are human beings on the football pitch, and it seemed as if the overwhelming majority of them had their bad day at exactly the same time. 

But it is a reminder that this Liverpool side is still very much a work in progress and it is important for them not to lose sight of the fact they could have a very good season. Silverware is a realistic possibility in Klopp's first season at the club, and he's evidently trying to develop the side's pedigree for European football given his team selections in that competition so far, while a good run of form will put them right in the mix for the Champions League places - though no doubt there will be mention of that 'T' word again - which is something fans really shouldn't be frightened of. 

Klopp himself has distanced himself from any talk of the title. One only needs to look at his reaction after the win against Chelsea, then again after the Newcastle defeat to see that he was always in frame of mind of playing down expectations.

The Liverpool manager has also spoken of the desire to train his players, he wants to give them time to give them information for the next game. Training ground work is something that he hasn't had a lot of given the number of games he has presided over in the past seven weeks. 

But out of all of this, even the very best sides have utter stinkers like Liverpool did at the weekend. Once or twice a Rafa Benitez side went through these kinds of results on his earlier trips to the North East of England, sides who have won titles in recent years have never gone to Newcastle with relish and have been caught cold when underperforming. 

There's not too much to be read into the result other than setbacks are going to happen along the way as Jurgen Klopp tries to take Liverpool back to the top, but if there are more exhilarating performances like at Manchester City and Southampton compared to that at Newcastle, then there is every reason for Liverpool to remain optimistic overall. But just don't lose sight of the bigger picture.

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