Friday, December 6, 2019

Liverpool unfortunate to have Manchester City around

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 13 May 2019

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I have to admit as an Evertonian, I was relieved that Liverpool did not end their title drought on Sunday afternoon. The Reds fell just one point short of reigning champions Manchester City, with a record points tally of 97 for a top-flight runner-up.

In reality, Jurgen Klopp’s side was only beaten because City are such a special team. If it were not for City, the Reds would have romped home with the title. To pick up so many points and fail to win the league must be awful.

Went blow to blow with City

The race for the Premier League title has been fascinating all season. Both City and Liverpool have been close to perfection. In the last few months, Liverpool have gone blow to blow with the champions.

If City won, Liverpool won and vice-versa. Most observers expected one of the two title contenders to slip-up, but neither did. When they need wins, they ground them out and did what they had to do to gain maximum points.

The fact that Manchester City had to win their last 14 league games to win the title showed just how strong Liverpool were throughout the campaign.

Klopp will tweak the team slightly

In all honesty, there is very little wrong with Liverpool’s starting eleven. I doubt any key players will leave this summer, while Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to go on a massive spending spree, as the current team has very few weaknesses.

Liverpool are likely to improve their squad and maybe bring in some back-up players, as some of their fringe players may leave in the summer. However, the wily Klopp will be thinking about how to tweak his team to get that extra out of them next season.

The only slight criticism of the Reds this season has been that they have drawn too many games. In fact, they drew seven matches and lost just once in the Premier League. That sort of record would usually win a title. Not with City around though.

Klopp has built a team and honed his tactics to near perfection and that has produced the desired results on the pitch. The German will continue to strive to win that damn elusive title. However, there is only so much a coach can do when he is facing arguably the best team of the Premier League era.

Second favourites for next season’s title

It seems that not much will change next season, as Liverpool are second favourites to win the title at odds of 11/4. Those odds seem to be fair considering that City are the first team in a decade to retain the Premier League crown.

City are not going anywhere and if anything, are likely to invest heavily strengthening their squad this summer. The Citizens still have the Champions League to conquer, so are unlikely to come back weaker than this season.

This season City suffered four defeats this season, which is something that Pep Guardiola will not be about. The Catalan boss is a perfectionist and will no doubt be working on any weaknesses his team have had this season during the summer.

Liverpool are likely to strengthen too. However, considering they suffered just one defeat last season in the top-flight, it is really hard to see them bettering their points total of the current campaign. The Reds efforts have been in vain to win this seasons Premier League title. However, Klopp’s side could still win the Champions League this season, which would still be a massive achievement.

Liverpool will feel down at the minute. However, they have shown tremendous character this season and that is likely to continue in season 2019/20.

Can Liverpool repeat this season’s good form in season 2019/20?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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