Whilst it may not be a popular opinion, both myself and my podcast partner Niclas Herle, are in agreement that this year will be a tough one for Liverpool FC. The question as to whether or not they will finish in the top 4 is one which we don’t need to consider, they certainly will finish in the top 4, of that we are in no doubt, as to whether they will win the league, we don’t think they have a chance at all.
Now this will be a strange season of course, but at the end of it, here is why we don’t believe that Liverpool will be retaining their title.
One of the biggest issues for Liverpool will be the fact that there are no fans inside the stadium to cheer them on. Now many of you may believe that this is the same across the board and there is no club which will have any fans, but they don’t have Anfield and the Kop. The reality is that there were so many games last year and the season before, where the fans dragged Liverpool to the win. They have one of the strongest fanbases in the country and that is a stadium which was turned into an absolute fortress. Teams coming to Anfield and playing inside an empty stadium will certainly feel more confident.
Liverpool were absolutely transformed when they brought in Virgil Van Dijk, and not just defensively. The team played better because they had the confidence that everything was fine at the back, this allowed the full backs to bomb forward with abandon and this is where they got many goals from. Van Dijk however has now picked up an injury against Everton and he looks set to be out for the majority of the season, if not all of it. This will make an enormous dent in the team, both in terms of ability and confidence. Joe Gomez looked a great prospect but isn’t up to the standard he could be, and Joel Matip will do a good job but he’s no Van Dijk. Options will be to play Fabinho there, or change the formation entirely. This will be a huge challenge for the Reds.
Usually teams get a year or two of being on top before teams are able to figure them out. This is why what Ferguson’s Manchester United did was so incredible, and he understood perfectly the need to constantly evolve. Liverpool were pummeled by Aston Villa and this is because their high line was sussed out, and they had no plan B. Jurgen Klopp is a sensational manager and coach, and it won’t be long before this Liverpool team changes its ethos slightly and once again gets back on top, this however, will arrive too late in this season.
Liverpool are here to stay, but this season may be a tough one for them.