Opinion: Should Liverpool be daring to dream again or is title talk overambitious?

Six points off the top of the Barclays Premier League. Who'd have thought it? So much has happened at Liverpool Football Club in the space of just two months, it feels like drastically longer.

But this is the situation that Liverpool find themselves in. Six points off Manchester City, who they humiliated in their own backyard only a couple of weeks ago, in the league table. Six measly points and that with the most difficult away games the top-flight has to offer all completed, with just one loss to show for them. 

Just weeks ago, Klopp had questioned whether a journalist was "crazy" to ask whether the title was quickly becoming a possibility - and though he brushed it off instantaneously - there is a slowly-developing belief that the Reds can genuinely mount a title challenge.

The impact the German has had on the club since his appointment, elevating them to victories away at Chelsea and City inside just two months of the job after Brendan Rodgers had failed to do so in three-and-a-quarter seasons, is quite frankly startling.

And then there's the win at Southampton. THAT win at Southampton. That one that will go down in the history books for a long, long time and not just because it was the home side's heaviest defeat at St Mary's since 1959. Six goals, all of the finest order, from a relatively second-strength team - albeit boosted by the world-class talents of Daniel Sturridge up-front.

Tally that up on the chart. Three away games at three of the toughest places to travel in England equalling three wins, 13 goals scored and just three conceded. A semi-final place in the Capital One Cup and six points off of top of the Premier League.

The transformation, in such a short space of time, is undeniable. Just the one loss from 11 games in all competitions. Seven wins. 21 goals scored. Eight conceded. Compare that to Brendan Rodgers' 11 games this season, before being sacked. Three wins and six draws. Though only the two losses, very few of those games weren't abject, dour performances and they had only scored 11 times, conceding a disappointing 13.

But to really examine the difference, you only need to watch a few performances of Liverpool under Klopp and another few of them under Rodgers from earlier this season. Not to do injustice to the Northern Irishman, looking at arguably their "best" performance of the season under him this season - Arsenal away.

Liverpool were very, very good at the Emirates that evening - but only for 45 minutes. That first-half, they blew the hosts away and they were very unlucky not to go into the break with a commanding lead. Instead, it was goalless. At the end of the second-half, the surprise at the lack of goals still stood. Arguably one of the best games without the net being hit in Premier League history, but it is exactly that which defines perhaps Rodgers' entire era at the club. Liverpool were good, but not good enough. That's not even considering some of the bad games Liverpool had earlier this season under him.

Carlisle United at home springs to mind. As do games against West Ham United, Norwich City, Bordeaux, Manchester United, FC Sion and to a large extent, Everton - though at Goodison, there was at least an increased drive and determination in the derby. All those other games? Forgettable at best. A few brief highlights, overshadowed by dreadful performances across the board. 

Compare that to Liverpool's ruthlessness under Klopp now. Compare that to how constantly hungry and eager they are now. And yet, with the same tools - the same ones which Rodgers bemoaned weren't enough for him to do the job.

The impact Klopp has had on Liverpool even this early is astonishing

There's even an immense difference in performances between Klopp's first away and home games - Tottenham (0-0) and Southampton (1-1) respectively - compared to his most recent, Swansea (1-0) and Southampton (6-1). The improvements are clear.

Whilst, obviously, the results were better for a start - it's the seismic shift in the manner of performances that is different. Those first two mentioned games, Liverpool ran. Don't get that mistaken. They ran their hearts out. More so than they had done in a long, long time under Rodgers. And it wasn't just meaningless running, it was the hunting in packs style 'gegenpressing' that Klopp became so renowned for at his peak at Borussia Dortmund and the effects of it were plain to see. 

That said, it was only the early signs. An early prototype, if you like. But they were nonetheless positive signs, it was a promising start to what Klopp said would be a patient process. The squad were, however, held back by their lack of self-belief. You could see that from the disappointment painted on the players' faces after Southampton drew level late on at Anfield. Not one player looked confident that they could find another goal, even though there were five minutes plus stoppage-time remaining.

Klopp touched upon it in his post-match interview - and the speed by which he has gone about drastically changing attitudes in the squad is profound. Perhaps a by-product of their sumptuous performances and results, which have taken everybody a little by surprise - including the boss, the staff and the players themselves - the latter two games are worlds apart from the others.

Despite going behind early against Southampton, despite being forced to dig deep and look to break down a determined Swansea defence, the players stuck at their task. They didn't let their heads drop, whereas only a few weeks and months ago, they would have.

That, ultimately, is the difference between what Liverpool were before and what they are now. The deciding factor has not been the quality. The squad, on paper, is one more than capable of a top-four challenge - complete with the winning mentality. That hunger. That desire, and this squad is capable of whatever they want to achieve. That's the difference between them drawing 1-1 at home to the Saints and smashing them off the park and beating them 6-1 away from home.

And with each and every game under him, momentum, belief and confidence has grown massively. They proved Chelsea wasn't a one-off with a swashbuckling performance at City, before somehow going one better at Southampton. And yet, there were still areas of weakness and things to improve upon for Liverpool. That is arguably the scariest thing about this team, there's still a lot more to come.

Not only has Klopp barely worked with this squad for two months, a very heavy fixture schedule hindering the time he has had to bring them on in training and implement his ethos and ideas, but this is the very barebones of a Klopp side. He's come in and boosted the players mentally, that's clear, but it's still not 'his' side. He's not made a single signing and he's largely been unable to call upon a number of key players.

It was clear all along, in the later months of Rodgers' management, that the squad could achieve much more than it had been. Underperforming barely justified it. Now, however, a new man has come in and got the squad overperforming. Very few expected so much so soon, but anyone saying they've not been swept up into it all is a liar.

This is not to say Liverpool still don't have work to do. As the German said so himself, they are often guilty of starting slowly. Also, their home form is alarmingly below-par. 12 games in all competitions on L4 have produced five wins, three of which have come under Klopp, and an unsatisfactory five draws.

The manner of these performances, even under the new boss, has been drastically different to those that have come on the road. The energy, confidence and swagger they have showed when swanning into other side's stadiums, playing off the park and walking off the pitch at full-time with the away end in the finest of voice, nowhere to be seen on Merseyside.

Instead, there seems to be a heavy weight on their shoulders. The same kind which plagued the entire side up until Rodgers was relieved of his duties. The Kop look anxious and sound flat, whilst the players generally fail to whet their appetites. It's almost a completely different team, and yet, it's not. 

Rectifying that will be at the top of Klopp's Christmas wishlist, and if he can even recapture even a quarter of the scintillating home form they showed in 2013-14 - it's a question of how high Liverpool finish in the top-four, as opposed to whether they finish in the top-four at all.

It's not too fanciful to start to believe...

There are still doubters. The pessimists. The non-believers. Those yet to be cast under Klopp's spell. Who knows, they may be right. We're only in December and there's every chance Liverpool's growing optimism could fall flat on its face. It wouldn't be the first time.

But then, where's the fun in not enjoying it all? Why not get swept up in the emotion? Isn't that what it's all about? Can you honestly sit there and try to convince me that those final home games of 2013-14 would have been anything like they were had us supporters not bothered to get carried away, turn up in our droves and roar the players on even as they turned into the stadium on the coach? I'd be pretty impressed if you could.

And there's that same child-like sense of joy every time Liverpool play now, at least for away game, until the home form improves. Every day feels like a decade, just as it did between those games in 2013-14 - such is how fun it is to watch those Reds. Those glorious Reds. That great bunch of lads celebrating so passionately in front of the away end, having carved a team open with liquid football - in the words of Alan Partridge. Pure and simple poetry in motion. Dare I say it, the wave of positivity washing over us feels 13-14-esque.

Of course, there'll be those waiting for that moment, if and when it all comes crashing down. Just as there were, hiding in the shadows, for that Steven Gerrard slip. But why not get on board? Those Reds are at it again. Playing football so good we can only sit and laugh, marvelling at their brilliance - sharing the beaming Cheshire Cat smile our invigorating manager shows on the touchline. 

We might not win the title, and we probably won't, but we can. The last time we said that and genuinely believed it feels like so much longer than it really was, so get the ale in, get the Reds on and enjoy every minute. The Reds are playing boss football again. Boss, heavy metal, all-or-nothing football - and it works wonders. 

With a more attractive run of fixtures coming up, it's time to start getting excited, to get carried away, to start daring to dream.  Jürgen Klopp and his heavy metal lads are on tour, and they're about to rock a venue near you. 

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