The task now for Jurgen Klopp, learn from mistakes and show signs of progress

Jurgen Klopp hug

After a decent start to life as Liverpool boss got people talking about a potential title charge, the defeat to Watford is one big reality check.

Well, Liverpool have certainly crashed down to Earth with the biggest of bumps with a 3-0 defeat to Watford that has to rank as one of their worst performances in recent memory.

This is not atypical of a Liverpool side that has a new manager getting to grips with things. Ever since my time of watching Liverpool (my first game was Gerard Houllier's first game in sole charge - a 3-1 home defeat to Leeds United), there have been abject performances under ever manager during their first tenure ever since. 

What is important, however, is evident signs of progress and that lessons are being learned from the mistakes being made. Jurgen Klopp is making mistakes himself. It's forgiveable as long as he learns from them.

It's telling so far that the majority of performances against sides and managers he's faced before have on the whole been good, while wins against Southampton and Rubin Kazan after earlier draws so some things are being learned from recent earlier meetings.

Some of the problems are of course from before the German's arrival. Goalkeeping issues, inability to deal with set pieces and being bullied by opposition that have bigger and stronger players in their ranks all leading to something of a lack of belief.

Liverpool are going to have to deal with poor pitches, open grounds where the wind gets in and the elements affect the game - all of which means there is going to need to be some flexibility in the line-up.

Klopp also needs to identify players that he sees as leaders. The captain armband has been handed to Lucas on a couple of occasions but his influence seems to have dwindled ever since he returned from a one-match suspension. It actually looked as if Liverpool missed an out of form James Milner to help Jordan Henderson rally the side. 

What needs to be done is continued work on the training ground in fragile errors and the side to show up to games to ensure they won't be bullied. In the goalkeeping department, something needs to be done on the coaching side of things. How can two different goalkeepers make identical errors in different games? It surely can't be coincidence?

Then there is this thirst for winning that Liverpool have. Even though their campaign in the league seems to be something of a write-off, they are in a good position to deliver some silverware this season. A trophy in the cabinet feels essential to re-establish a winning culture at Anfield, with the semi-finals of the League Cup looking like a golden opportunity.

Their next game is the Boxing Day visit of league leaders Leicester City, who seem to be in the process of putting together an improbable title charge.

Liverpool's home form has been poor again this season, but they need to show they can mix it with very good teams. They have done on the road - notably in the thrashing of Manchester City - which showed signs that progress is there to be made. 

Though this probably wouldn't have been said at the start of the season, but a win in this kind of game would at least show some promise. It would also identify where Liverpool are going wrong in other games with the lack of a flat track bully. 

The positive out of defeats like against Watford is that the mistakes can be learned from, and deficiencies are for all to see in order for them to be addressed, instead of the cracks being papered over. 

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