Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Jurgen Klopp has put together an incredible squad that is only going up
In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a lot of the English Premier League. I recall the times when Manchester United and Aston Villa fought it out for the championship. Blackburn’s phenomenal success with Jack Walker’s millions and their championship win in 1995. What about Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester in 2016? If that was regarded as a surprise back then, what about them now? I witnessed outstanding managers transform the Premier League. from Pep Guardiola to Jurgen Klopp, from Arsene Wenger to Jose Mourinho. I watched Arsenal’s unbroken campaign. I caught Sergio Aguero’s championship goal against Queens Park Rangers in the nick of time. I witnessed Dimitar Berbatov, the champion of Bulgaria. I also encountered Bulgarians who fell short of expectations… However, what I lacked
By some twist of fate, this team that had such incredible players and coaches over the years somehow kept missing the trophy. Starting with Houllier, through Benitez and Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool often came close, but still fell short of the triumph. But not this time!
Not even the global coronavirus pandemic could stop the Reds’ march to the title. Yes, it delayed it by 3 months, but the inevitable happened last night. I admit I’m a little sorry. Not that Liverpool became champions, it was well deserved. I am sorry that the trophy is not decided in the head-to-head clash with Manchester City next round. Because that’s how Liverpool would completely prove their superiority to everyone. An excellence that has been there from the first to the last meeting this season. 23 points lead 7 rounds to go. 28 wins from 31 games! A single loss… The numbers are clear. But what needs to be pointed out is that everything finally fell into place at Liverpool.
There used to be problems with the owners – we all remember the Hicks and Gillette cartoons. Now other Americans are in charge, but the best indication that they are doing a good job is that no one is talking about their governance.
There were good coaches like Houllier, Benitez, but they still lacked a little bit. With the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, however, Merseyside have found their unifying figure. A figure that everyone is always behind, and that everyone likes. A figure who will rank alongside legends like Shankly, Paisley, Fagan. And Klopp does things in a very “Liverpool” way. The team plays spectacular, breathtaking football. He scores a lot of goals. There are young local players breaking through the academy. Transfers, some for quite a bit of money, are accurate and purchases fit in their places. And most importantly, Liverpool finally found their luck. Because without a shred of chance, you can’t be a champion, no matter how strong you are. When no one slips up at the wrong time, things work out.
Many doubted at first when Klopp arrived. Many have said that Mohamed Salah is too expensive for £40m and has already failed in his bid to shine in the Premier League. But Klopp knew the Egyptian would be useful to him and he proved it with the pile of goals. Sadio Mane hinted at his potential at Southampton (scoring a hat-trick in less than 3 minutes against Aston Villa), but Klopp has developed him into a prodigious goalscorer who scores with remarkable consistency. The missing piece of the puzzle turned out to be Virgil van Dijk. He came for 75 million and immediately fixed the team’s defense. What was dragging the team down.
For 3 years now, Liverpool has been at an extremely high level and maintains it with ease. Played twice in a row in the Champions League final and won it once. Unbeaten at home in the league for 3 years now. Won epic battles with the other power in England in recent years – Manchester City. Even the disappointment of losing to Real Madrid in the European final did not affect this Liverpool.
Because no matter how many times before Liverpool were close to the title, the following year they went back. And with Klopp, there is only one direction – forward and up.
In 2017-18, Liverpool scored 135 goals in all competitions – something the club had only done once before in their history. Mohamed Salah was the top scorer with 32 goals – a record for a season with 38 rounds. Scored 44 times in all competitions. Won all individual awards. The three with Firmino and Mane scored 91 times! But that wasn’t enough.
Last season, Liverpool pressured champions Manchester City all the way. He set a bunch of records, finished with 97 points and still didn’t become the champion. It didn’t happen by millimeters. Those 13 against Manchester City. They were 7 points clear on January 3 when they lost to Man City. But as we said, Klopp’s Liverpool is developing. This season the gap with Man City was getting bigger and bigger. The Reds may be winning the title for the first time in the Premier League, but they will do so with one of the biggest leads in history.

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