For much of the campaign, Liverpool have occupied a place in the top-four of the Premier League.
The Reds were even considered as title contenders until a dip in form around Christmas time saw the Merseysiders fall slightly behind league leaders Chelsea.
Things were not looking good for the Reds at the weekend. Rivals Manchester City and Manchester United were both behind Jurgen Klopp’s but had games in hand against Middlesbrough and Swansea respectively.
If results had gone against Liverpool they could have been out of top four for the first time in months. However, City drew 2-2 at struggling Boro, while United could only manage a 1-1 draw against Swansea at Old Trafford.
On Monday night it was advantage Liverpool again, as a sublime Emre Can goal saw the Reds win 1-0 at Watford. The win could be significant for Klopp’s team in the race for the Champions League spots.
Klopp has done a very good job at Liverpool
This season is Klopp’s first full season at Liverpool. For me, the German is one of the best bosses in football. His football philosophy is slightly gung-ho at times, but it works if the defensive players in his team are good enough.
Liverpool have not always played easy on the eye football of late. At times they have had to grind out results. They have not always been convincing in their displays, but they have benefitted from their resilience in games.
To be fair the Reds defence have improved in recent games at the likes of Watford and Stoke, although they were exposed against Crystal Palace.
Natural progress at Liverpool
Liverpool finish eighth last season, but the Reds improvement this season seems like a natural one. Klopp hardly had a fortune to spend in the summer and the team have improved despite their rivals for the Champions League places spending heavily.
Klopp achieved great things with Dortmund without spending big on players. Instead, Klopp used his man-management and eye for a player to build a winning team. The German looks to be setting his stall at in the same manner on Merseyside.
A top-four finish would have been the priority at the start of the campaign. Klopp has managed it without a great squad. For much of the campaign, the Reds have played with James Milner as their left-back, while Milner is a dependable enough player he is not an out-and-out full-back. That is the sort of situation that should be sorted out this summer.
Liverpool now have the advantage
The Reds have now jumped back above Manchester United in the betting to make the top-four at odds of 1/8, although Klopp’s side are still behind Manchester City in the betting to clinch a top-four finish this season.
Liverpool now seem to have the advantage in the top-four race, as the Reds have more points than both City and United, although both teams have a game in hand. However, they have been in this position before and both Manchester clubs failed to capitalise.
Klopp has come in for criticism at times this season. The majority of Liverpool fans can see that their team have made progress this season, though. The team are moving in the right direction and the first proof of that progress is for the team to clinch a Champions League spot.
A Champions League spot means extra revenue and an added attraction to prospective new signings. Liverpool have a major history with the European Cup and fans love the competition.
Klopp’s pedigree should also not be questioned, neither should his managerial acumen. To finish above Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho this season would be a personal achievement for the German.
The team finishing in the top four is the priority. I am sure Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool fans will be more than happy with a top-four finish this season. Klopp deserves major credit if the Reds manage to clinch a Champions League spot.
Would Liverpool finishing in the top-four be an achievement for Liverpool?
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