Déjà vu for Liverpool ?

Only 3 seasons ago, Liverpool came the closest they had come to winning a league title in some time. Arguably one of the best teams ever when it came to scoring goals and playing beautiful football, few would have objected to the reds lifting their first  Premier League title. They obliterated teams at times including the likes of Arsenal and Everton scoring 5-6 goals on average per game. When it came to the final few games of the season it looked like they might just keep their nerve and finally return to the summit of English football. Yet, amidst all their attacking flair and creativity, the reds completely forgot that in football, you are supposed to stop the opposition scoring as-well. Following their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea the reds went to Crystal Palace desperately needing a win. It wasn’t long till they fired themselves to a 3-0 lead and put themselves on the verge of retaining their position at the top of the league. However, what happened next will live long in the memories of everyone who witnessed the match. In search of more goals the reds throw men forward and ultimately that cost them dear as they were succumbed to 3 palace goals. The game finished 3-3 leaving Liverpool still top but with knowledge that if City win their two remaining fixtures then the league is theirs. Here we are 3 seasons later and the story is much the same.

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Former striker Luis Suarez (right) couldn’t hide his emotions following Liverpool’s capitulation vs Palace back in 2014

Klopp’s men are playing some of the best attacking football you could hope to see. They are scoring goals for fun and look unstoppable when the whole team is on song. During their 6-1 win over Watford yesterday, their play at times was mesmeric and the goals they scored were simply world-class. On the other hand, despite all their attacking capabilities, they just can’t keep clean sheets. Yesterday, they were plain sailing but a lack of concentration meant that they lost the chance to get only their second league clean sheet of the season. The alarmingly thing is the nature of the goals they are conceding. Against Palace a couple of weeks ago, they were easily the best team on the night but they allowed the Eagles a way back into the game with it has to be said horrifying defending.

Many Liverpool fans may argue that when you are scoring 5-6 goals a game, conceding the odd goal here and there doesn’t really matter. That may be so against the likes of Watford, Hull and Palace but there is no way they will find it that easy against those also in the title race. We have already seen that against United, when a team sits back against them then they can find it a struggle to break them down . Furthermore, United on the night had a series of good chances to score and if not for poor finishing, then they would have come away with all 3 points.

Liverpool fans may then further their argument by saying that they have already overcome the challenges of Spurs, Chelsea, and Arsenal away. Whilst this is true and Liverpool were brilliant at times in those games, Arsenal haven’t lost since then and Chelsea have looked like the team they were when Mourinho first arrived scoring goals but also keeping clean sheets week in week out.

It may seem that I’m trying to put a downer on Liverpool’s start to the season but I’m merely suggesting to those on the red half of Merseyside that they don’t get too carried away with their teams start to the season. Yes they are top of the league and yes they  have been a delight to watch, but we are only in November. This title race has the makings of being one of the most exciting ever and I’m confident Liverpool will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. However, the key for Liverpool is that they don’t become complacent. We saw that during the 2013/14 season and that ultimately cost them the league.

They have an amazing manager in Klopp and he clearly has the support of the whole club, so it’s down to him to keep his players focused and not allow them to get caught up in the ‘potential champions’ talk that is surronding Merseyside. If he can do that and Liverpool continue in the vein of form they are at the momment, they have one hell of a chance, provided they stop conceding as-well of course.

Merseyside on the Rise

It’s been a struggle for both Everton and Liverpool over recent year’s, with them rarely threatening the top of the premier league and spending most of the time around mid-table. Not since the day’s of Moyes and Benitez have we seen the two clubs really challenging for trophys and that seem’s all too long ago. However, with arguably two of the brightest managers in the game in charge, there is at last hope for all Scousers.

Firstly with Everton, it was clear that the fan’s never took to Martinez. They didn’t agree with his style and ultimately didn’t see him as a long-term replacement for the void left by Moyes. Now on the other hand, it seem’s that the introduction of Koeman has finally given the Everton faithful  someone to get behind.He paid his due’s at Southampton helping them establish themselves as a top 10 side and now he has earned his post as the man entrusted in taking the toffee’s forward. After only 4 games, it’s clear he has made a difference. They look fitter, hungrier, and most importantly more organised than they did under Martinez. Perhaps yes the football isn’t always as nice as before, but if they are winning games then the fans won’t care one bit. Arguably, Koeman’s main job was to keep Lukaku at the club. Not only has he achieved that but based on last night’s performance against Sunderland, he may have helped the big Belgian re-discover his best form.

The story is similar across Stanley Park  where everybody’s favourite German is well on the way to taking Liverpool back to their former glory. He has rejuvenated so many players’ who looked short of confidence under Rodger’s and this is no where more apparent than in the recent performances of Adam Lallana. The Englishmen has struggled for form  since his arrival to the club but under Klopp it look’s like he could finally reach his full potential which is brilliant for Liverpool and even more so for England.

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Lallana celebrating his goal vs Leicester on Saturday (see above)

Maybe the most impressive thing has been the recruitment from the two managers. The signings of Mane and Wijnaldum at hefty prices did raise some eyebrows at first but they have slotted into that team perfectly clearly buying into the way Klopp want’s to play. Koeman on the other hand has bought in equally impressive signings. The acquisition of Ashley Williams adds that much-needed experience and stability at the back which was clearly lacking last season. Furthermore, the inspired performances of Idrissa Gueye suggest he could turn out to be a snip at £7 million.

There certainly is a lot of excitement  in Merseyside at the moment and you wonder how far these two sides can go this season. Maybe the title is beyond but with Arsenal, Spurs, City and United all having to worry about European football, you sense that Liverpool and Everton are going to be right amongst it this season.