The Jurgen Klopp Difference, and Fantasy Football Update

LFC Atlanta Fantasy Football Update
"Six points off the top: boss tha!"

Klopptimism is addicitive, is it not? Amazing to think that not 60 days ago we approached each match with a feeling of uneasiness and, for some,even dread. Now, after securing advancement in our Europa League group and putting on two imperious displays at Shiteford Bridge and the Emptyhad, we have rediscovered that feeling of limitless possibilities. Top 4 and a run to the EL final is definitely on, and even a title challenge isn't completely out of the question. Plus, it's the end of the snide, bitter pessimism that had surrounded the club for the previous several months, in spite of a few who still cling to it like the world's saddest security blanket.

And all this with the same squad that some fans were calling "the worst ever" not that long ago. So what has changed? Of course the tactics have been effective, we are already seeing the players implement the boss' ideas on the pitch. However, in my opinion, the difference has been one word: leadership. You can give a team talk at halftime and exhort the players to show more heart and passion, but a leader must reflect said heart and passion in their words, actions, and even mannerisms. Otherwise, the message just becomes lost. A leader also knows how to instill belief and self-confidence in their players: You may have made a stupid pub-team error & get a rocket up the arse, but you'll also get a big hug and a promise to work together in training to make you the best footballer you can possibly be, instead of trying to flog you off to the Championship at the first opportunity just because you were signed by the previous boss. This is the difference between a top "coach" and a top "manager", and there is no way to achieve the latter but through experience and what you learn from it.

Editorial over, have our boys in red been bringing home the bacon for your fantasy team? If you've got Coutinho or Firmino (that's spelled without an H, by the way, then the answer is yes! Li'l Phil racked up 14 and 13 points for his goals and assists against the Chavs and City, respectively, and 10 points for his goal versus Crystal f*cking Palace. Hopefully he'll be ready to come back in next week against the Barcodes. Bobby is also showing the quality we knew he had, with a goal and three assists in four matches. Boring Jimmy and Big Bad Ben also contribute with a few goals and assists between the two of them. Our midfielders also have clean sheet points versus Spuds and Swans, which come into play for Waffles, Nate Dogg (nice one Bobb!), Ninja Skrtel, McLovren, and the half-Spanish, half Scouse love child of Stevie and Xabi. Even though we've only kept two clean sheets in the league under the new regime, it is clear that the defense is playing better as a unit, and seeing Skrtel and Lovren together on the pitch no longer fills me with a sense of impending doom.

It's now December and the battle to reach the top of the LFC Atlanta league is heating up and every point matters. If you're still languishing at the bottom of the table, don't lose heart: there's still a lot of football to be played, and the FPL website gives you lots of tools to maximize your points return. If nothing else, just look at who Villa, Bournemouth, Sunderland and Newcastle are playing in a given week, and make your transfers accordingly. Plus, if you're an LFC Atlanta member there is the chance to win Fabulous Prizes every month, such as t-shirts, pins, scarves, and A BRAND NEW CAR!!!!!!* So congrats to Michael Cerrito, October's league winner and current number 1 on the table. And for November, it's some guy named Ryan Mellick​ and "Los Pistoleros", a great supporter who has done some brilliant media and design work for the club. Wrap yourself in bubble wrap and cotton wool, and come on down to the pub next week.

Sorry for the long post, friends. I think even Paul Tomkins would have lost interest by now. Until next time, remember to walk on with hope in your heart, 'cause any other way just sucks.

*("Car" shall be defined as any graphical representation of a four-wheeled passenger vehicle, and may include drawings of cars poorly done under the influence of alcohol, and Matchbox cars.)