Premier League is half way thru and it’s time to draw some conclusions from what we saw up to now.
There’s still time to correct and improve till the end but 19 games are more than enough to evaluate team’s values and predict final results.
Premier League leaders
Results usually don’t lie and if the Reds are looking down at everybody else it’s because they deserve so.
However, I’ll go a bit against the public opinion and declare my surprise! Big surprise!
Listing thru roster at Klopp’s disposal my astonishment increases! Even more drastically when you consider Liverpool’s domestic invincibility.
Because at international level it’s something different, particularly away from home but let’s focus on the Premier League.
Liverpool’s squad has 26 players registered for this campaign. Beside Salah, up to a point Van Dijk and Alisson there isn’t any other member that would walk into competing teams. At least not holding regular starting berth!
And even Mo isn’t scoring as he did in previous season!
That’s the reason for my amusement! All are valuable members and have quality however beside the mentioned trio nobody else would be a candidate for world’s top 5 in respective position.
Some of them not even top 5 in Premier League!
Taking a look at the summer purchases doesn’t make your heart sing!
A couple of reliable holding midfielders. A flamboyant attacker that failed in every big club he’s been at.
And a goalkeeper. Excellent and expensive but ultimately a goalie!
And that’s it! Nothing more!
Surely not the staff to recover 25 points and 33 goals deficit to Manchester City shown at the end of last season!
So, how do they do it? How did they manage to stay undefeated in supposedly the toughest and most competitive league in the world?
As already established not much has changed since last campaign, therefore, there aren’t any rabbits pulled out of the hat on regular basis.
Jurgen Klopp has been in Beatles city for over 3 years now and considering everything now is picking up the fruits of his work. Or so it seems.
His men are still to taste the bitterness of losing a league game, defence looks rock solid with only 7 goals conceded and the attack is scoring at will. Is it possible that it’s all due to him?
His tactics, for all the praise gegenpressing gets, isn’t anything new.
Lot’s of managers apply the same approach. It was something new in the 1990s when Sacchi had his AC Milan team press high, but not now.
Going down the exclusion procedure it must be his man-management skills!
One excellent, two very good and a bunch of goods players playing known style of football and arriving at the turn of the league undefeated. It has to be the manager!
His unorthodox way of behavior on the bench, frank communication with the press and emotional reaction to any situation make him a stand-out performer.
I say performer because for me it depicts him better than the word coach, manager or any other available to describe his job.
He’s known for losing cup finals, both with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, however, he won a national league in Germany. Twice in a row!
And the league is even more balanced! Besides has a club prescribed to win the title some 80% of the times in the last couple of decades or so.
Therefore, he has a winning mentality to match his border-line theatrics and results to support that!
Anyway, I just can’t see Liverpool winning the title!
With crucial Champions League matches coming on February, domestic cup competition reaching its climax and increasing pressure on the team to finally bring home Premier League golden medal it all might crumble.
Klopp has a past of faltering in decisive moments and the club has a tendency to self-sabotage (yes, I’m referring to Gerard’s famous slip) when it matters.
You might argue that Ranieri and Leicester City had an even worse reputation when the Foxes won the title. However, that was a season when all giants had a transition year.
This time beside Manchester City there’s also Tottenham close enough to push the Reds till the end.
Whatever has been done up to now will matter only statistically if the famed trophy won’t parade around Anfield. And I can’t see that happening.