Coming to a banner on the Kop soon, where the only note of dissatisfaction among the terrace poets will be that they didn’t think of it first.
For it is the perfect encapsulation of what Klopp’s Liverpool represents. Identity. Intensity. The most obviously recognisable playing style in English football and a ferocity that exhausts opponents. Breaks them, Klopp insists. ‘Physically?’ he was asked, for clarification. ‘Yes, of course.’
Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring Liverpool’s second goal from the penalty spot
Andy Murray broke Novak Djokovic in the US Open final in 2012. Ran the fittest man in tennis into the ground over five sets until he could take no more.
Mo Farah breaks the field over distance, challenges them to match his finishing pace, and leaves them shattered in his wake when they cannot. And Liverpool broke Arsenal.
When Klopp’s players arrived, exhausted, in the dressing room at half-time, he greeted them with a simple message.
‘I said to the boys, “OK, but how do you think they feel?”,’ Klopp explained. ‘Because it was an intense first half, but Arsenal had to make all the runs as well.
‘Sure, we did them, but that means so did they. And the tempo we put in the game from the beginning was really incredible. There was no time to breathe.
‘Adrian catches the ball, throws it out, now go. Andrew Robertson gets the ball. Oh really, again? We did it constantly. And I like that.’
The message ‘Our identity is intensity’ will adorn a new banner in the Kop end at Anfield
Other teams do not. There was a marked drop in performance level for Arsenal after half-time and Unai Emery’s team only sparked back to life in the final 10 minutes, by which time the game was lost.
They couldn’t handle it. Couldn’t handle Liverpool’s constant running, their power, their energy, their tempo.
When Klopp decided Georginio Wijnaldum had done enough — he misplaced one pass the whole game — his replacement was James Milner, ensuring no respite at all for Arsenal’s midfield.
It is a brutal way of winning which is perhaps why some professional observers believe Klopp’s team cannot sustain it across this season. Not after the last one, certainly.
It is not an opinion Liverpool’s manager can afford to share. He does not have an alternate strategy where his players can knock off.
He has come to hate the phrase heavy metal football, but that was another pithy appraisal of a personal style at Dortmund. If Klopp’s teams have anything in common it would be football’s equivalent of that frantic riffing.
And none of the vainglorious bombast of bad metal, either. Liverpool’s style echoes the good stuff. Motorhead, Montrose, The Pink Fairies, Iggy’s Raw Power.
The Reds’ relentless work-rate broke Arsenal mentally and physically on Saturday evening
Yet here is the conundrum: while Liverpool break other teams, will Klopp’s intense strategy ultimately break Liverpool? Jamie Carragher’s suggestion at pitchside that he might have considered resting Sadio Mane for this one met a snort of derision.
‘I would love to hear Jamie Carragher if I had left Sadio out,’ Klopp retorted. ‘This punditry is a world-class business.
‘I have to think about if I do it after my management career, because you can say whatever you want and you always put a finger in something.
‘So yes, we try with Sadio. I did it today. I took him off and he doesn’t have to go away on international duty this time which will help him. We have an eye on it. You have to ask the players and that’s important as well.
‘As long as I see in their eyes that they really want it and I see it in our session in midweek, then I know. It’s about having that intensity always.
Georginio Wijnaldum making way for James Miler epitomises Liverpool’s brutal way of winning
‘We still only train two hours a day. In pre-season, four or five hours, but it’s not training like you are always exhausted. It’s making you stronger, more resilient. And if you win you don’t feel it like you do when you lose.’
And Liverpool have not dropped points in the league since a goalless draw with Everton on March 3. Frank Lampard once said that, under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, confidence was so high he felt he could have played two games in a day, if asked. Liverpool have that defiance now.
Arsenal had the best chances of the first half, yet went in a goal down because Liverpool found a way through, from Joel Matip’s header. In the second half, the game was settled by the mismatch of Mohamed Salah versus David Luiz.
Unai Emery called the penalty for the second goal soft, but he is deluded. Luiz pulled Salah’s shirt out so obviously it appeared to be supported by a tent pole.
To compound his problems, he was booked for the foul, too, meaning he couldn’t cynically trip Salah when he sped past him for the third.
Klopp admits he must carefully monitor Sadio Mane’s level of fatigue in training this week
‘The yellow was difficult because you are playing against a striker who is fast and you cannot make a foul,’ said Luiz, an argument surely requiring the world’s smallest violin.
Yet while Luiz was unimpressive, he wasn’t the only one responsible. Emery’s decision to play a midfield diamond when Liverpool’s full-backs are the most creative in the country had little on its side bar mystery.
The only surprise was that no goals came from these regular sorties down the flank and even Klopp admitted he had no clue what Arsenal were intending.
The sole benefit of the tactic was it succeeded in playing Trent Alexander-Arnold back into form after an inconsistent start to the season.
‘Yes, Trent had to improve,’ Klopp said. ‘And he did. Really aggressive, blocking the challenges, smashing his body in. It was his best performance of the season — him and others. The intention was just to be us. That’s why I said it: our identity is intensity.’
Remember them. Those four words may yet define this season.