Sitting comfortably top in the Premier League and top of the current Euro Club Index, this Liverpool team has somehow gone to new heights.
But why is this Liverpool team looking so strong on all fronts this year? Is it Man City’s slight decline? Is it Liverpool’s slight improvement? Is it new signings? Is it more competition throughout the league? Is it something else?
In truth, it’s likely a mix of it all. Let’s look at the key points mentioned above.
Man City’s decline
Of course, there’s still a long way to go, but their weaknesses seem very exposed. Kompany-less, they look weak at the back. Playing Fernandinho at centre back for a large portion of the opening part of the season is clearly an area teams will look to exploit – even though I’m a big fan of him. They are also lacking proper leadership without Kompany.
Up top, Aguero doesn’t seem quite as sharp as he once was. Perhaps age is finally catching up with one of the best strikers we’ve ever seen in the Premier League. While Sterling, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and co are devastating from attacking midfield, the core of the team has been left wanting at times.
Make no mistake, they are still a world-class outfit and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to win a major trophy still this year, but this City team isn’t the best it has been. Liverpool must take advantage of it.
How can a team improve from winning the Champions League and getting 97 points in a single season? Well, mentally, winning a major trophy is massive. It was the one thing hanging over Klopp and the squads’ head. You can just tell confidence is sky-high. This squad believe, truly believe, they can go all the way. Last season, we were a team full of quality, not used to winning trophies. This season, we are a team full of winners hungry for more.
Look at the way we’ve found ways to win this season when it seemed destined for dropped points. While the personnel hasn’t changed much since last year, these mentality monsters are going to take some beating.
New signings, stronger squad
Of course, signings combined with no big-name leavers was huge. Having the Ox back is massive – Keita, take note on how to grab attention – and the resurgence of Matip since last season has been spectacular. It’s mad to think that Big Joe Gomez is struggling to get a game at the moment. Adrian has already proved his value during his time between the sticks and the squad in general looks strong and deep – plenty of senior players on the bench. A pleasant change to years gone by.
Whatever it is, we’ve never been in a stronger position to end the Premier League drought. Fingers crossed Reds. There’s a long way to go but having dispatched City it’s ours to lose now.